CBS’ 60 Minutes Presents: Inside the Vatican aired Sunday, which interviewed the people who know the Bishop of Rome Best.
As is typical of the series, the 60 Minutes Presents feature on the Catholic Pope Francis uncovered a lot of interesting and revealing information shared in several interviews.
Scott Pelley quizzed a lot of key personalities in the life of the enigmatic Pontiff “who knew him best,” and here are some of the awesome things that these people had to say about the 78-year-old former Jorge Bergoglio.
Making reference to the March 2013 unveiling of the new Pope at St. Peter’s Square, in an attempt to capture the very humble personality of the Pope, Robert Mickens, an American journalist who has been covering the Vatican for more than 25 years, said “And he was just dressed so simply. There was no cape. There was no fur. … And in a simple silver cross, evidently the one that he wore when he was in Buenos Aires.”
“Nobody’s ever taken the name Francis. I mean that’s an extremely challenging program just in the name,” Mickens went on to say. “He took the name Francis from Francis of Assisi, who is probably the most beloved saint you know among Catholics and especially non-Catholics. And you know had this great love for the poor, God’s creation, nature, peace. And what we’ve seen is that he lives very radically, very simply rather than some monarch prince or king or monarch pope.”
Elisabetta Pique, an old friend of the Pope who had all her kids baptized by Bergoglio before he became the pope, expressed shock that the Pope deemed her so important that he called her just 12 hours after he was crowned Pope.
“I knew that he would phone me. But I didn’t expect that he phone me so quick.” She continued, “And two days later was my birthday and he phoned again so– but in that sense we have here the scandal of normality because he’s a normal man.”
“We see the scandal almost every day. Ten days ago when he went for a retreat, he wanted to go in the bus like the others and he didn’t want to go by helicopter or in his own car. This is why people love him, I think,” Elisabetta concluded.
When asked if she thought Francis ever wanted to be Pope, Elisabetta replied, “Well he himself– when he met one day people from Jesuit school and there was a little girl that ask him ‘Did you want to be a pope?’ And he said, ‘You have to be crazy to want to be a pope.‘”
Abraham Skorka, a very close, old friend to the Pope, who also happens to be his rabbi, had something different to say.
They (Skorka and Pope Francis) met debating one of the greatest of all human conflicts – Argentinian soccer. Skorka’s team often chokes in the clutch, so the fans nicknamed them chickens.
“I guess that this year we are going to eat chicken soup,” the Pope once said to Skorka, as he recollected.
“Ohhh, I received that as an aggression, as a real aggression. But, I understood that behind the joke was a message, “Look, we can joke together. We can speak on the same level,” Skorka recalled.
Pelley asked Skorka, “The pope keeps telling everyone who will listen that he is a sinner. Chief among sinners. Why does he say that?”
He replied, “Because he’s showing a way. One of the great sins of the leaders throughout the world is that they used to appear before their people as perfect persons and perfect leaders. He’s teaching what a real leader must be.”
To understand Pope Francis a tad more, CBS turned to one of the people the Pope handpicked himself – Gerald Lacroix, who was made one of the first few Cardinals.
When asked why he (Gerald) thinks that the Pope described all of the attention accorded him as “offensive,” Gerald replies: “I think maybe it’s in a way, a way to tell us, “It’s not about me.” Of course, he’s very popular. He’s very attractive. He’s such a joyful man. That, in itself, makes him a star. But what he’s telling us down deep is, “It’s not about me. Turn to the Lord.”
President Obama also had glamorous tales about the Pope, after his visit to him in the Vatican earlier in March.
“He is a wonderful man. He projects the kind of humility and kindness that is consistent with my understanding at least of Jesus’ teachings,” Obama said about his feelings being in the presence of Pope Francis.
Moving into the library, which is actually closed to the public, and only few have seen firsthand, the structure founded over 5 centuries ago is home to a vast collection of historic treasures.
Within the confines of the library lays relics like the Urbino bible, which was said to be commissioned in 1476 by the Duke of Urbino.
The Bible took years to make by hand: letter by letter, picture by picture and is decorated with real gold.
The Library also holds the kind of silver coins Judas was said to have been paid to betray Christ.