March 19th, 2013
05:50 AM ET

Pope's sister prayed he wouldn't be picked; now she's proud, from afar

By Jose Manuel Rodriguez and Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN

Buenos Aires (CNN) - Maria Elena Bergoglio was in her home west of Buenos Aires last week when she heard the shocking news: Jorge Mario Bergoglio - her brother - was the new pope.

In the past, she had prayed that the cardinals wouldn't pick him.

"During the previous conclave, I was praying for him not to be elected ... because I didn't want my brother to leave," she told CNN en Español on Monday. "It's a position that was a little selfish."

But this time around, Bergoglio said she changed her tone.

"I prayed that the Holy Spirit would intervene and not listen to me. And it didn't listen to me," she said, laughing. "It did what it wanted."

Last week, soon after the white smoke billowed out from the Sistine Chapel chimney, she heard her brother's voice crackling through the telephone line.

"I almost died," she said. "The telephone rang and my son answered. I heard him say, 'ooooh, God.' I couldn't believe it."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Pope Francis

soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Kindness

    This is my experience... Thank you.

    MY personal testimony.
    A thought to consider without an ego response

    I Accepted Jesus christ as my lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.

    The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.

    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners. Even once we are saved by christs merciful grace we will still experience adversity to mold us to adhering to the truth.
    We will slip... But not fall of the ship ...carrying us onward to perfection in christs grace.

    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .

    Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from some other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancsend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .

    Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith ....above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read romans or corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.

    Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are by faith above reason in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it

    You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
    I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
    Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus

    my testimony

    Romans 10:9

    "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved

    Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith’s door,
    And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime;
    The, looking in, I saw upon the floor
    Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.
    “How many anvils have you had,” said I,
    “To wear and batter all these hammers so?”
    “Just one,” said he, and then with twinkling eye,
    “The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”
    And so, thought I, the anvil of God’s Word,
    For ages skeptic blows have beat upon;
    Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard,
    The anvil is unharmed – the hammers gone.

    Truth is..exclusive

    July 18, 2013 at 2:13 am |
  2. headphones

    Just how did you have the ability to develop such a great group regarding commenters to your site? headphones http://lowcostseoforsmallbusiness.com/?page_id=2

    April 16, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  3. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    March 23, 2013 at 6:40 am |
    • obvious

      Those that deny freedom of speech to others are not worth freedom of speech

      March 23, 2013 at 6:42 am |
  4. J. Davis in Knoxville, TN

    I think the Holy Spirit intervened to select the new Pope. He is a wonderful and refreshing choice. As a former Catholic, I wish some of his humility would be transmitted down to some of the Catholic Bishops and priests I know who are anything but humble! That is a major reason I left the church to become an Episcopalian, a church where the priests are not so sure they have all the answers. Former Catholic from E. Tennessee.

    March 19, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • Akira

      I think his Jesuit training is what may make the difference.

      March 19, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
  5. Over 40,000 denominations of insanity

    Some believe the Pope is the Anti-Christ.

    Some believe that celibacy is appropriate for certain people, or for certain positions. It's ridiculous. Celibacy is unnatural and will continue to cause problems for the religious institutions that employ it.

    Many of the people from these same institutions advocate against abortion, but don't understand the realistic benefit of the morning after pill or even basic contraception; their unrealistic wishful thinking is causing the death of many at the hands of disease. Realistically, many abortions could be avoided if a morning-after pill were not viewed as such an evil option. Many of these same people bring children into the world at a high pace, and then would prefer that the rest of society take over and educate their children in their particular brand of religion when they don't plan well.

    In the U.S. recently we learned of the head of Lutheran CMS chastising a minister of that church for participating in a joint service for the victims of the Newtown school shooting.

    One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage.

    One sect, the Westboro Baptist Church believes Americans are being killed at war because America is too kind to "fags".

    One sect believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri.

    One sect believes women to be subservient, while another sect in the same denomination promotes equality between the sexes.

    Conflicted right from the very beginning, Christianity continues to splinter and create divisions and more extremism as it goes.

    Has anything improved with Christianity since 200+ years ago?

    Thomas Jefferson, POTUS #3 (from Notes on the State of Virginia):

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    James Madison, POTUS #4, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & the Bill of Rights (from A Memorial and Remonstrance delivered to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785):

    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

    John Adams, POTUS #2 (in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 09/03/1816):

    I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history.

    Ben Franklin (from a letter to The London Packet, 3 June 1772):

    If we look back into history for the character of present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practised it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England, blamed persecution in the Roman church, but practised it against the Puritans: these found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here and in New England.

    Thomas Paine (from The Age of Reason):

    All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

    March 19, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  6. Atheism is a form of Autism, more specifically Asperger Syndrome--Fact

    Prayer only works in accordance with God's will.

    March 19, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Why do you keep posting lies troll?

      March 19, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Akira

      Please cite the source where you came up with this "fact".
      Thanks. I tend to disagree, but I'll wait for your sources.

      March 19, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • Atheism is a form of Autism, more specifically Asperger Syndrome--Fact

      Akira, why don't you use the fingers God gave you and google it yourself. You would be surprised at all the unbiased sources there are linking the two.

      March 19, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      It truly is pathetic when the religious trolls need to use so many different names to spread their stupidity.

      March 19, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
    • Akira

      You are the one making the assertion; the burden of proof is on you.
      However, I will translate your answer: "I have no proof, but wow, is it a handle that will get attention".

      March 19, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Your idiotic moniker makes it quite clear that you know nothing whatsoever about autism or Aspergers Syndrome, and less than nothing about everything else.


      March 19, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • Saraswati (real)

      Do you mean to be completely offensive by diminishing the very real difficulties of autism or are you just outstandingly ignorant?

      March 19, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • The real Tom

      What a disgusting cow.

      March 19, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • The real Tom

      What is truly beyond the pale is that this moron thinks that it's an insult to say that a person has autism or Asperger Syndrome, in addition to telling an outright LIE.

      March 19, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • Atheism is a form of Autism, more specifically Asperger Syndrome--Fact

      Akira, I figured you were lazy but here you go:





      March 20, 2013 at 9:21 am |
  7. Thoth

    Oh the irony. Let me guess....this isn't evidence that prayer doesn't work.....it's that we are not worthy or capable of understanding god's plan, right? How much comfort do you really think that type of BS provides parents who pray for their sick child yet it still dies? Some plan – bring grief to his creation that he supposedly loves so dearly? Prayer is for those who have given up.

    March 19, 2013 at 11:45 am |
  8. Billy

    The story is proof that prayer does not work. No sir.

    March 19, 2013 at 10:55 am |
  9. PapaCacaLatte

    It's truly amazing how many ignorant people we still have in the world. Followers of some fictional fairy tale/mythical being and his pimp/representative here on Earth. In the famous words or Forest Gump, "stupid is as stupid does."

    March 19, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      Your allusion to Christ as a fictional being betrays three things about you
      1. You do not love your neighbor as yourself
      2. You do not accept that someone can love you as himself.
      3. Because of the above two reasons you have low self esteem and cannot concieve that someone who does do them will be better than you.

      March 19, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • Which God?

      Atheist, me? Are you still loving yourself? Do you change hands so one doesn't get to much of a work out? Mary-Fist loves you

      March 19, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      Are you sure you are not an Atheist because the Bible is such a big book?
      There is a big difference between loving yourself and loving your neighbor as yourself.

      March 19, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
  10. AndrewsAFB

    Oh yes, the power of prayer. Isn't it amazing.

    March 19, 2013 at 9:31 am |
  11. Bootyfunk

    the pope's sister didn't want him to be pope because she knows when people join cults, like christianity, they often leave their loved ones and have delusions of grandeur, like that they can directly speak to deities. it's a sad story. the pope needs to be deprogrammed and told his family is more important than a religious cult.

    March 19, 2013 at 8:32 am |
  12. Colin

    Praying hey? Isn't that where you close your eyes and think silent thoughts like "dear God, please elect somebody other than my brother as Pope" and a being powerful enough to have created the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies about 13 billion years ago reads your mind (or "hears your prayers" if you prefer the euphemistic terminology) and reacts by altering what would otherwise be the course of history to answer your request?

    And ya wonder why we think you Christians are just a little nutty....

    March 19, 2013 at 8:32 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      To be fair, people who are more of Kierkegaard's stripe pray that they will be aligned in some way with that omnipotent God, not that they can change its will in some way. Of course when they play the lottery or are pulled over with something naughty in their car their prayers are somewhat different.

      March 19, 2013 at 8:40 am |
    • Colin

      And if they are not "aligned" does this god still not have to alter things to make them aligned? Same nonsense, different terminology

      March 19, 2013 at 8:43 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      when people pray they are generally just thinking about what they want and very little about their relationship with whatever imaginary god they worship.

      March 19, 2013 at 8:46 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I know that's true. Most people who pray are wish-makers. Prayers for church members in the military are kind of interesting: "Keep our boys and girls in Afghanistan safe as they make other people's boys and girls unsafe (or dead)."

      March 19, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • Poltergeist

      Yeah, how dare they want troops to come home.

      March 20, 2013 at 9:21 am |
  13. USMC 1371

    Prayer to fairy tell creation gets you nothing.

    March 19, 2013 at 6:59 am |
    • .

      Oh, shut up.

      March 19, 2013 at 8:27 am |
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.