Huffpost UK

New Pope Francis Has One Lung, Rides The Bus And Snacks On Chicken And Coffee

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The Pope, unsurprisingly, is a Catholic. And that means his views on gay marriage, contraception, abortion and women in the Church are all that you might expect them to be.

But there's a few things about Pope Francis that you may not expect. Here, The Huffington Post UK guides you through the top 10 interesting titbits about the new defender of the faith.

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Looking ahead: Pope Francis looks at the crowd from the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica

1. He only has one lung

According to the Associated Press, the new Pope had one of his lungs removed as a teenager, after a serious infection, because antibiotic treatments were not available at the time. It was a common practice, to stop the infection from spreading.

Although Pope Francis is unlikely to be able to swim underwater for any length of time, or belt out arias to compete with Pavarotti, living with one lung doesn't seem to have held him back.

2. He's not sure the Cardinals were right to pick him

As the Cardinals sat down after electing their new leader, Bergoglio said seriously: "May God forgive you," raising loud laughter, according to New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan.


lukecoppen
RT : Pope Francis joked with the cardinals after his election, "My dear brothers, may God forgive you." <- Very John Paul I

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Argentina's Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, second from left, travels on the subway in Buenos Aires, Argentina

3. He takes the bus

He rides a bus to work, and gave up his chauffeured limousine, wears an ordinary priest's robe and lives with an older priest in a simple apartment where he cooks his own meals, rather than live at the luxurious residence he was entitled to as Archbishop of Buenos Aires.

4. He's a healthy eater, but likes a glass of wine or good espresso

According to a profile in Argentina's La Nacion, Bergoglio is "very austere in his nature". He likes to eat fruit, skinless chicken and salads. He's a fan of the typical Argentinian drink "mate", and allows himself small luxuries, like eating a "bagna cauda", which is a kind of fondue, when he visits a certain nunnery.

His frugal lifestyle means he never accepts dinner invitations, even at the parish churches, and cooks mostly for himself, occasionally eating a bowl of soup at a kitchen for the poor.

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Argentina's cardinal Jorge Bergoglio drinks "mate," a traditional local beverage, in Buenos Aires

Even the Pope has his vices. For Francis, it's coffee, with La Nacion describing how he enjoys "walking around the Italian capital and take ristretto in cafeterias, leaning against the counter." He may no longer enjoy such anonymity in Rome.

5. He washed the feet of Aids patients and drug addicts

In 2001, Bergoglio reportedly visited a hospice to kiss and wash the feet of 12 AIDS patients, and seven years later, the Catholic News Agency reported that Bergoglio washed the feet of 12 recovering drug addicts at a rehabilitation center in Buenos Aires.

6. He has no experience in the Vatican

In many ways, Pope Francis is the "new world" Pope, who is actually deeply connected to the old world, the son of Italian immigrants.

But he has held no post in the Vatican and has little experience of it, according to Slate. It has worried some Catholics, who expected a new Pope to put reform of the curia on top of the agenda.

The magazine's Michael Brendan Dougherty said his lack of knowledge of the Vatican's inner workings could be just the excuse the curial Italians need to avoid reform. "Low-level conspiracy theories already flourish in Italy that Benedict’s resignation was the result of a curia determined to undermine his reforms. This election will only intensify that speculation.

"An older pope who does not know which curial offices and officers need the ax, will be even easier to ignore than Benedict."

7. He's Francis, not Francis I

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi is nothing if not precise, some might say pedantic. He was quick to point out to the world's media that he is Pope Francis. That's it. Not Francis I. He will only be known as Francis I, when there's a Francis II. He's named after Francis of Assisi, the much-loved Italian patron saint of animals.

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The new Pope's season ticket at San Lorenzo

8. He's a San Lorenzo fan

The new Pope will have to give up more than his privacy when he takes up the post, he'll also have to give up his season ticket at San Lorenzo, one of Argentina’s top sides.

San Lorenzo are certainly in need of some divine intervention, having won just five of their opening games.

The Vatican does have its own team, established by Pope John Paul II, who was reportedly a Lazio fan.

Pope Benedict XVI was an ardent Bayern Munich supporter.

9. His fake Twitter account has been suspended already

The parody account @JMBergoglio has been active since last summer, but acquired a dramatic 132,000 followers by last night after the surprise news of the Cardinal's papacy, many mistaking it to be a real account.

Those who could read Spanish realised the tone of the tweets didn't quite have the gravitas one might expect.

"If I'm the new pope, children will love me more than Santa Claus," read one. It was promptly suspended by Twitter.

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Newly elected Pope Francis smiles to the waiting crowd

10. He doesn't smile, except when he's elected Pope

According to the National Catholic Review, an email campaign surrounding the conclave of 2008 accused him of being a miserable old so-and-so, specifically pointing out that "he never smiled."

Well, he's certainly smiling now.

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