Call for church to have outward focus led to election


A four-minute speech before the church’s cardinals a week before conclave led to the election of Pope Francis, according to a report.

Speaking in the Paul VI grand hall of the Vatican, the Argentine cardinal warned against focusing too much on matters close to home.

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He said the church needed to shift its focus outward, to the world beyond Rome—rather than being "self-referential." Its core mission was “humility, dignity and justice. It should help the poor,” he was reported as saying.

Just before his speech, at a dinner of English-speaking cardinals, the future pope's name had come up over a meal of soup and wine but hadn't generated a buzz, according to the account.  "The speech was decisive," said one voting European cardinal.


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