15/03/2013 06:56 GMT | Updated 15/03/2013 10:26 GMT

Pope Francis 'Became A Priest When I Spurned His Advances' Says 77-Year-Old Woman

A woman claiming to be the former heart throb of the new pope says he became a priest when she spurned his advances.

Amalia Damote said Jorge Bergoglio was a "quiet boy" who declared his undying love for her when he was just 12 years old.

The 77-year-old said the man now known to the world as Pope Francis told her he would like to marry her and even wrote her a love letter, reported The Independent.

She added "He said that if I didn't say yes, he would have to become a priest. Luckily for him, I said no!"

The Pope's former heart throb

The childhood friend of the pope has been inundated with media requests since the election of Pope Francis. The first South American pope, he grew up in Buenos Aires as the son of Italian immigrants.

His humble beginnings have been much combed over with his early experiences said to have inspired his personal style that espouses the key Christian tenets of simplicity and humility.

The antithesis of Vatican splendour, the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio who, spending nearly his entire career in Argentina, is known for catching the bus and eschewing the luxuries of high office.


There is no suggestion that Pope Francis has ever had a sexual relationship with Damote, but if he had, he wouldn't be the first man at the helm of the Catholic Church who had not been chaste his entire life.

Indeed for a large portion of the church's history, being celibate was considered an optional disclipline, apart from those who had chosen to lead the monastic life.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the most senior Catholic in Britain, reignited this debate in February, saying that many priests struggle to cope with celibacy and should be able to marry and have a family.

His call to allow priests to marry was rather overshadowed by allegations of 'inappropriate sexual conduct', made less than a week later, which led to his resignation.

There's a number of Popes who have indulged their carnal desires, with some of those subsequently canonized. It's worth noting though that since 1585, no pope is known to have been sexually active either before or after election to the Papacy.

Take a look through the popes who did hop on the good foot and do the bad thing below. Scoundrels.