Vatican-Produced Documentary Reveals Francis' 1st Words After Election

Film Also Chronicles End of Benedict XVI’s Pontificate

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“I am a great sinner. Trusting in the mercy and patience of God, in suffering, I accept.” Monsignor Dario Edoardo Viganò, director of the Vatican Television Center (CTV), revealed those words as the first uttered by Pope Francis when accepting his election as the Supreme Roman Pontiff.

In a press conference held today to announce the release of a DVD produced by CTV on the resignation of Benedict XVI and Francis’ election, Msgr. Viganò said that Cardinal Angelo Comastri, Archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica, made known the Holy Father’s first words in an interview on the soon-to-be released DVD.

“Francis – Election of a Pope who Comes from the Ends of the Earth” was produced in collaboration with the Italian station Rai Eri and will be sold along with the local newspaper, Corriere della Sera, on April 2.

Present at the press briefing were Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication, Luigi De Siervo, director of RAI, Ferruccio de Bortoli, director of the Corriere della Sera, and Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office.

Archbishop Celli expressed his “supreme satisfaction” with the documentary, saying that the images collected during this time chronicled a truly significant time in the life of the Church. “We have here a DVD that gathers the last moments of Benedict’s pontificate that are truly historic,” Archbishop Celli said. “I am truly happy and satisfied with this work.”

Before going into depth on the documentary’s content, Msgr. Viganò provided a sneak peek of the first two minutes of the film, which begins with the first puffs of white smoke from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, signaling the election of the new Roman Pontiff. The film, Msgr. Viganò said, includes interviews of several cardinals.

Prior to the interview, Cardinal Comastri asked Pope Francis’ permission to reveal the newly elected Pontiff’s first words when asked if he accepted his election.

The film also chronicles the resignation of Benedict XVI and his departure from Vatican City on February 28th. Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, the current President of Caritas Internationalis, reveals on the DVD his feelings upon seeing Benedict XVI leave.

“Cardinal Maradiaga speaks of feeling like an orphan when he saw Pope Benedict leave,” Msgr. Viganò said. The CTV director also stated that Cardinal Maradiaga also speaks on the significance of the election of the first Latin American pope.

Also interviewed on the documentary are Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, and Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

Msgr. Viganò said the DVD concludes with the historical meeting between Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at Castel Gandolfo. The documentary will be made available in four different languages in the near future.

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Junno Arocho Esteves

Newark, New Jersey, USA Bachelor of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Relations.

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