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Five things Pope Francis definitely didn’t do in his first year

Remember when the Pope named himself Francis I, backed female cardinals and abolished sin? Neither do we

By on Thursday, 13 March 2014

So, Pope Francis, we hear you're going to create female cardinals… (AP)

So, Pope Francis, we hear you're going to create female cardinals… (AP)

1) The new Pope takes the name Francis I

The media’s coverage of the new Pope got off to a rocky start when journalists across the world reported that the world had a new Pope who went by the name of “Pope Francis I”.

What actually happened?

The first Latin American Pontiff actually chose to keep it simple with plain old “Pope Francis”.

 

2) Media find shocking evidence linking Francis to Dirty War atrocities

Within hours of his election newspaper editors speculated that Francis was implicated in the military regime’s Dirty War in Argentina.

What actually happened?

When no one could produce any actual evidence Argentine Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquivel set the record straight. “The Pope had nothing to do with the dictatorship,” he said. “He was not an accomplice.”

 

3) Francis relaxes Church teaching on homosexuality

Screen shot 2014-03-10 at 15.38.52

In a surprise interview on the plane home from World Youth day in Rio, Pope Francis said the immortal words “who am I to judge”. Much of the media took it that he had reversed Catholic teaching on homosexuality in one stroke.

What actually happened?

Pope Francis said: “If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?” He then simply quoted from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

 

4) Francis prepares to create first female cardinals

Months after his election news reports began to appear claiming that Francis would break with tradition and appoint a female cardinal at his first consistory. Some outlets even identified the woman most likely to receive the red hat: Professor Linda Hogan, vice-provost of Trinity College Dublin, who was pictured in reports, inexplicably, standing next to Stifler from American Pie.

What actually happened?

In an interview with La Stampa Francis expressed bemusement at the speculation that he would create a female cardinal. “I don’t know where this idea sprang from,” he said. “Women in the Church must be valued, not ‘clericalised’. Whoever thinks of women as cardinals suffers a bit of clericalism.” 

 

5) Francis abolishes sin

Screen shot 2014-03-10 at 16.17.12

In December Eugenio Scalfari, the distinguished Italian intellectual and interviewer of Francis, took to the pages of La Reppublica to claim that the Pope had “abolished sin”.

What actually happened?

The Vatican was forced to issue one of the most bizarre clarifications in Church history. Spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi told Vatican Radio the “affirmation that the Pope has abolished sin” was incorrect. “Those who really follow the Pope daily know how many times he has spoken about sin and our condition as sinners,” he said.

Vatican Pope

 

And yet this really happened:

And this…

Pope Francis holds child as he arrives to lead general audience in St. Peter's Square

And finally this…

Pope Francis embraces emeritus Pope Benedict XVI at papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo