Pope Francis on Spotify. First Interview on a Podcast: The One Who Escaped from the Vatican Was Saint John Paul II

In regard to the myth that Pope Francis escapes from the Vatican and goes around the streets, he answers: “It’s not true,” adding that “the one who did this was Saint John Paul II. He found a way.”

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(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 06.07.2022).- The first week of July has been a fecund week of interviews with the Pope. The first was the Argentine TELAM Agency and then, at least for its media impact, REUTERS Agency. However, they weren’t the only ones and, if it can be said so, not the two most novel. 

Although news has a short life, on this occasion an interview with the Pontiff was original, broadcast as it was for the first time on a podcast and music platform. The entity in question is Spotify, the Swedish multimedia services company founded in 2006 and which has an area destined only to podcasts. 

It was in one of those, that of Father Guillermo Marcó (the podcast is called “Marcó tu semana [Marked your week] . . . from TV to networks”) on which the Pope was interviewed. Father Marcó was the spokesman of the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who recently visited the Holy Father in the Vatican. “I began to tell him what a podcast is and what it was that we were doing,” says Father Marcó. And it was when he asked him if he could record some of the last remaining minutes in that audience, which was initially private and personal between the Pontiff and his former spokesman. “I put the microphone on him and I put a microphone on myself there, in his room in Santa Marta, and we continued talking.” 

During the interview they talked about what the Pope keeps in his heart, “My heart is a deposit,” he answers. I have to enlarge the shelves every two minutes. I’m a collector. I don’t want to lose anything that the people give me with examples, words, one or two events.”

Father Marcó reminded him that he was a street Bishop and then, further on, asked him if he misses something, to which the Pope answered: “I miss walking on the streets. In Buenos Aires, I walked or took the bus and so on. Here, the two times I had to go out, they caught me in the act [. . .] twice, in winter. At seven o’clock in the afternoon, nothing is going on, everything is dark . . .  when I went to the optician a lady shouted from her balcony ”the Pope” and that was the end of it. And when I went to the record shop, where there was no one (I went to bless it because it was the record shop of some friends who had restructured it and the people were asking me: ’why don’t you come, you have helped us so much.’ I went. It was dark; such bad luck, there is a taxi stand close by, and there was a journalist waiting for a friend to take a taxi.” 

Asked about how a Pope prays, if his way of praying has changed since he was a priest and now that he is Pope and, more than that, if he still gets up to pray, the Holy Father answered  “yes,” it has changed “since he was a priest. But it’s more or less the same since I was Bishop. The Bishop’s prayer is to look after the flock. And the Pope is a Bishop, so he continues with the same style. Look, ask, intercede, thank.” And, above all, get up early to pray, he says. “Yes, that yes, because if you don’t  pray in the morning, then you don’t pray, right? Because you’ll end up in the meat grinder.”

In regard to the myth that the Pope escapes and goes around the streets, the Holy Father said: “It’s not true,” adding that “the one who did so was Saint John Paul II; he found a way. He liked to ski and 100 kilometers from here it’s possible to ski, and he used to do so. He went with his ski cap and covered his face and no one recognized him; he skied a while and then came back. And in the summer there is nothing here.” 

Pope Francis explained again why he changed to his present residence in Santa Marta, and added that on Sundays he eats with the Vatican’s employees. He also said that he is reading a book-interview with the late Jesuit and former Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini.

The full interview can be heard at this link.

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Jorge Enrique Mújica

Licenciado en filosofía por el Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum, de Roma, y “veterano” colaborador de medios impresos y digitales sobre argumentos religiosos y de comunicación. En la cuenta de Twitter: https://twitter.com/web_pastor, habla de Dios e internet y Church and media: evangelidigitalización."

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