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Is this the first papal selfie?
Pope Francis joins young Italian pilgrims this week at St. Peter's Basilica for a photo making waves on social media.
August 30th, 2013
12:37 PM ET

Is this the first papal selfie?

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - In another precedent-shattering moment for Pope Francis, the bishop of Rome, the Vicar of Christ, successor of St. Peter and the head of 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide has taken what may be the first papal selfie.

The pontiff posed for the photo with young Italian pilgrims Wednesday at St. Peter's Basilica.

The image of Francis mugging for a cell phone photo with the Italian teens charged through social media when the papal newspaper L'Osservatore Romano released the photo Thursday.

The group of 500 young people was visiting the Vatican from the Catholic diocese of Piacenza-Bobbio in Italy and had a private audience with the pope.

According to Vatican Radio, the pope told the young crowd he wanted to meet with them "for selfish reasons ... because you have in your heart a promise of hope."

"You are bearers of hope. You, in fact, live in the present, but are looking at the future. You are the protagonists of the future, artisans of the future,” the pope told the pilgrims.

“Make the future with beauty, with goodness and truth," he said.  "Have courage. Go forward. Make noise.”

Before the selfie shot around the world, the teens presented the pope with the gift of a wooden-framed illustration of Jesus wearing a crown of thorns.

Pope Francis receives a gift from Italian teenagers.

Italian journalist Fabio M. Ragona got his hands on the selfie and posted it to his Twitter account.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Pope Francis • Vatican

soundoff (502 Responses)
  1. Andres

    You are arguing like children. Please be more scientific.

    August 30, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
  2. bergerfry

    What the hell does that have to do with posing for a picture? What a waste of air you are.

    August 30, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
  3. Francisco Decastro

    LOL.... If you did not find this funny, then you have no humour. The pope came out funny in the picture, he is like "what the heck is going on here?"...

    And NO, this is not a selfie, because it is not his phone, and he is not the one taking it.

    Regardless... This was HILARIOUS!!!!!!

    August 30, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
  4. Valerie

    You do realize the catholic church is the single most charitable organization of ANY kind in the entire world don't you???? Since it doesn't sound like you contribute, it's really none of your business, now is it?

    August 30, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • neoritter

      Being worth X amount doesn't mean you have X amount to use. Much of the Vatican's wealth is insoluble. Other portions that could be sold are used these days to generate revenue in the form of tourism. You can't sell the ceiling of the Cistine Chapel.

      August 30, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • J

      Why solve world hunger when a simple solution is all that is needed: Eliminate the undesirable Christians. Eliminate them all.

      August 30, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
  5. Josef F

    "Is this the first papal selfie?"

    No, dammit, it's not. Because the pope isn't holding the camera.

    August 30, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Truth

      You are so accurate, yet so irrelevant at the same time.

      August 30, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
      • Rod C. Venger

        No, it's not irrelevant. I'm guessing that thousands of photos have been taken of the pope with other people and likely others have also been taken with a cell from the same perspective. But "Selfie" refers to a self-portrait. If someone else is taking the photo, it's not a self-portrait, or selfie. So...very relevant. Friday is Friday...not Saturday.

        August 30, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • Francisco Decastro

      I just commented the same thing, I should have found yours first.. The only thing I added is that, it is not his phone either.

      August 30, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
  6. Bob

    Hate this new term "selfie"!!!

    August 30, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Apparently they didn't know about your problem with the word, because it was just added it to the Oxford dictionary.

      August 30, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
      • Truth

        Doesn't make it any less annoying. I am sure you were happy when Oxford added the word "moroniic"? For you it must've been line seeing your name in print for the first time.

        Low life troll you are....

        August 30, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Rod C. Venger

      I agree. As people we are too hung up on ourselves. That our actions would give birth to a word such as "selfie" doesn't speak well of us as a people. We should be looking at the world around us and maybe solving some of it's problems...like keeping Obama from starting a war that will engulf the Middle East...instead of believing that we are the center of the universe and demanding that the world notice us. That's what selfies really are...a demand for attention.

      August 30, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Einstein said it best: I fear the day when the technology overlaps with our humanity. The world will only have a generation of idiots.

      August 30, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
  7. Dapper Don

    I'm neither Catholic nor religious, but I think you've elected a man of the people that I can respect and admire.

    August 30, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Thank you Dan, Catholics everywhere are praying that his intentions be fulfilled.

      August 30, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      I'm an atheist, and I kind of like the guy too.

      August 30, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  8. beernpizzalover

    I always wondered why the pope travels around in a vehicle with 'bulletproof' glass? Maybe he's lacking in the faith that 'God' will protect him – like he's someone special?

    August 30, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      You sound like the people who wouldn't give their kids measles shots.

      August 30, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • oldguy68

      Maybe the attempted assassination of a previous pope?

      August 30, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        If you can't use your brain enough to figure out why the pope need protection, you're never going to understand God.

        August 30, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
      • Jason

        Why do people impose that if God exists, everything should be perfect? The existence of God and the fact that bad things happen are not mutually exclusive in any sense. This is explained quite well in just about every religion I can think of. If you are asking why that's the way God rolls, then I cant answer, because simply put, I am not in God's head and neither are any of us.

        August 30, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
      • Faith does not replae common sense

        A hurricane was heading towards the city and man said God will protect and save him. A firetruck came by his house to evacuate him and he said no God will save me. The water began to rise and he was force to the 2nd story of his house and a boat came by to rescue him and the man said no, God will same me. The water rose and he was forced to his roof; a helicopter came to resuce him and he said no God will save me. The man drowned. Upon waiting outside the gates of heaven the man asked God why he didnt save him. God replied: I sent a firetruck, a boat and a helicopter, what more could I do for you.

        August 30, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        You've contradiicted the claim that you have brains twice now in one thread. You should stop while you're behind.

        August 30, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • Rod C. Venger

      I guess you never got the memo about a Muslim shooting Pope John Paul II during his early days as Pope, huh?

      August 30, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • neoritter

      First, this Pope has not used the bullet proof pope mobile. Second, the bullet proof glass was introduced during Pope John Paul II's tenure. Pope John Paul had three assassination attempts on his life and there is some of those attempts and others that may have been in the works were done by the KGB. One plot was perpetrated by Al-Qaeda as well.

      August 30, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
  9. Jenna Jameson

    Oh come onnnn already! Popes have been doing selfies on themselves since popes existed.

    August 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Stan

      Funniest comment today. And probably pretty accurate. Jenna rocks.

      August 30, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
  10. bostontola

    This Pope seems more in touch with the real world than previous popes. I hope that works for him.

    August 30, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Certainly more so than Benedict.
      He is being referred to as "The People's Pope" as opposed to JP II, dubbed "The Pilgrim Pope" or Benny "The Pedo's Pope".
      (OK, that last one I made up)

      August 30, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • OOO

      How in touch with the real world can you be when at the same time you have to be infallable?

      August 30, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        Did you know the last time papal infallibility was invoked was 1950?

        August 30, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
        • Will

          Bigots typically don't learn about what they hate.

          August 30, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
      • james

        He's a Jesuit. He knows he is not infallible, and that all people have faults.

        August 30, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
  11. The Really for Real Scotsman

    Hmm, not to much going on in the world of religious topics is there?

    August 30, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
  12. G to the T

    Isn't it only a "selfie" if you are the one holding the camera?

    August 30, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      IF THE POPE SAYS THAT ITS A SELFIE THEN ITS A SELFIE!!!

      August 30, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
      • G to the T

        I stand corrected... 😉

        August 30, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        Now that's actually funny

        August 30, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
      • Valerie

        Hahaha! Love this!!!

        August 30, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Dubguy

      You are absolutely correct. You would think someone writing an article for a high profile news site (or any news source for that matter) would be familiar with the actual meaning of a word he chose to use in his headline. Journalism is going downhill fast...

      August 30, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
  13. wikipoops.com

    Mounds of new info on this thing.

    August 30, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  14. ME II

    OMG! srsly?!?

    August 30, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
  15. Good shot!!!

    Rather the pope engage these people in a meaningful dialogue than a Miley Cyrus selfie shot with the crowd.

    August 30, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • sam

      Just be grateful there was no twerking.

      August 30, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Pope's selfie > Miley's twerkie
      August 30, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • R.J. Johnson

      He actually did have a dialogue with them, it's in the story.

      August 30, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
  16. Reality

    A "selfie" of a man who believes that a female could not do his job. The inanity of it all !!!

    August 30, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Manfred

      Don't get it, should a woman be a pope just because?? What's wrong with feminists like you?

      August 30, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
      • ME II

        ... should a woman [*not*] be a pope just because?? What's wrong with you misogynists?

        August 30, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
      • Manfred

        A man vs. woman conversation is irrelevant here. The role of the pope ought to carried out with utmost responsibility.

        August 30, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
      • Alias

        The point is that no woman could be pope. Ever.
        'Should' is not the issue here.

        August 30, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
      • 101N

        What is most important is that the pope carries out his God given tasks truthfully, loyally and with reverence and fear. Any other opinion or discussion about the pope being a "woman" is worthless!

        August 30, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        A woman Pope? HERESY!
        As I Timothy 2:11-14 reminds us, "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

        Or put more plainly:
        "Sin began with a woman and thanks to her we all must die"
        – Ecclesiasticus, 25:19

        August 30, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
      • It is good!

        There is wisdom in what the scriptures say about the leadership in church. Men and Women have gifts bestowed on them by their creator and no man can deny the individual gender specific God given gift.

        That is what makes testosterone and progesterone unique! 😉

        August 30, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          The "gift" given to women by God is excruciating pain in childbirth and eternal subservience.
          "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."
          – Genesis 3:16

          Thanks to Eve listening to the advice of that pesky talking snake, females can never have any kind of leadership role in a proper Christian church.
          "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church."
          – 1 Corinthians 13:34

          August 30, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
        • It is good!

          "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."
          – Genesis 3:16

          Ain't that true! Which part of the above passage do you deny as being true?

          August 30, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Well, it's not much of a "gift", is it?
          God really doesn't like women.

          Do you agree with the verses from Timothy and Corinthians? That women need to sit down, shut up and do what her man says?

          August 30, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Doc, if you're arguing for a female pope, I suggest you are taking the wrong tack. The prohibition against women teaching you quote from Scripture isn't foundational to why women are not priests, bishops or popes. You might succeed in making some Christians appear misogynistic but you aren't addressing the issue you think you are.

          August 30, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
        • It is good!

          17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

          “Cursed is the ground because of you;
          through painful toil you will eat food from it
          all the days of your life.
          18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
          and you will eat the plants of the field.
          19 By the sweat of your brow
          you will eat your food
          until you return to the ground,
          since from it you were taken;
          for dust you are
          and to dust you will return.”
          Does that mean God does not like Adam,?

          The Genesis passage you are quoting is God's response to Adam and Eve's disobedience. Did God provide a way out for mankind, yes he did. Continue to read the Bible till you read about Jesus the Savior.

          And yes, it is just so wonderful that God created Adam and Eve with unique gifts and talents and they both complement each other in the way they were created to be who they were, not compete with each other!!!!

          August 30, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Bill
          How silly of me to think that all the passages specifically stating that women are not to speak in Church, let alone deign to teach, could have anything to do with it.
          Is it because Jesus never ordained a woman?
          Aside from it being part of the Catechism, thanks to the infallible edicts in the Ordinatio Sacerdotalis from the mid-nineties, the ancient misogynies are set in stone forever more.

          Please explain why the statement made 1700 years ago is still relevant:
          "Certain women ... In an unlawful and b.asphemous ceremony ... ordain women, through whom they offer up the sacrifice in the name of Mary. This means that the entire proceeding is godless and sacrilegious, a perversion of the message of the Holy Spirit; in fact, the whole thing is diabolical and a teaching of the impure spirit" (Against Heresies 78:13)

          August 30, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Hey it was just a friendly note to say you're barking up the wrong tree if you think those Scriptures re the basis for the male clergy. You're free to argue against them all day long but even if you were to somehow win (you gottta believe in miracles sometime), you still wouldn't prove the point for female clergy.

          The reasons the statement you posted is still relevant is several. First obviously, no female, can be ordained in the Catholic faith. While liberal feminist see this as an affront to equality, both male and female members of the Catholic faith do not. But that is a separate discussion. The larger reason is according to what I read, these heretics were offering the Eucharistic sacrifice in the name of Mary. Mary should not be intoned in any manner as the person to whom sacrifice is was or can be made. Catholics love and venerate Mary but she is not the Christ. her son Jesus is and even Mary would tell you that, which is supported in Scripture. The Catholic faith always shows us that while Mary is worthy of devotion, she is not worthy of worship and she herself points eternally and positively towards Jesus.

          August 30, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Ordinato Sacerdotalis is an Apostolic letter. It is not Infallible ex cathedra. I know you want to remain clear about such things.

          August 30, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          And simply, yes, the reason there are and will be no female priests is because Jesus never ordained a woman. But more importantly also because Jesus, as God, came to us as a man. The priest is the pro forma embodiment of Christ, present for the church. The Catholic faith believes there are irreducible differences between men and women which are complimentary but not interchangeable. Christ honors the Church as His bride and, due to the natural law, women cannot be married to women and men cannot be married to men. So the Church is, by her nature, female with a male head, Christ, represented by the priest. Oddly, this confers not a diminished stature to women but an enhanced one. While men may hold the sacramental power in the Church, women are naturally inclined to a more intimate relationship with Christ by virtue of this male/female dynamic, which is what the sacraments are all about anyway. All of this is also why the Catholic faith will never endorse gay marriage btw.

          August 30, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
        • Athy

          Of course not. Catholics can't change their rules, no matter what, right?

          August 30, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Bill Deacon
          Read the bloody thing:
          "In order that all doubt may be removed…in virtue of our ministry of confirming the brethren…we declare…that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the church's faithful."

          It was a doctrine already taught by the ordinary and universal magisterium since the Council of Trent – and confirmed by JP II.
          He declared definitive tenendam, thus making it an ex-cathedra statement.
          And that is about as much delving into arcane rationalizations as I care to do today.
          Ciao!

          August 30, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Athy, of course the Church changes somethings. Ever heard of Vatican II, it implies a Vatican I by the way. Somethigns will not change though.

          August 30, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          I don't blame you Doc. Don't forget your hat.

          Apostolic constiitutions (apostolicae constiitutiones): solemn, formal docuuments on matters of highest consequence.

          Apostolic exhortation (apostolica exhortatio): a papal reflection on a particular topic that does not contain dogmatic definitions

          Apostolic letter (apostolica epiistola): a formal papal teaching docuument, not used for dogmatic definitions of doctrine

          Declaration (declamatio): may be a simple statement of the law, which must be interpreted according to the existing law

          Decree (decretum): a statement involving Church law, precepts or judicial decisions on a specific matter.

          Encyclical (encyclica ep istola – literally, "circular letter"): a formal apostolic letter issued by the pope usually addressed to the bishops, clergy and faithful of the entire Church.

          Instruction (instructio): explains or amplifies a docuument that has legislative force

          Instiitutio: instiituted arrangement or regular method,

          Motu proprio (literally, by one's own initiative): a legislative docuument or decree issued by the pope on his own initiative

          Promulgation (promulgatio): the process whereby the lawmaker communicates the law to those to whom the law has been given.

          Recognitio:
          – See more at: http://www.adoremus.org/0902AuthorityChurchDoc.html#sthash.BNbIUMBN.dpuf

          August 30, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
        • J.C.

          Jesus didn't ordain any men. The first Christians were women. And Peter was to be his rock.

          August 30, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
        • J.C.

          When the women at the tomb realized Jesus had risen he gave them clear instructions to “go and tell.”

          August 30, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
        • J.C.

          There are female priests. And they do the same thing that male priests do.
          And God seems to allow the female priests to exist in the same way as the male priests exist.
          God, in his mercy, shows love to churches that discriminate against women.

          There are churches with women priests! And Jesus shows up! Just like he does in your church!

          August 30, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        "The role of the pope ought to carried out with utmost responsibility."

        And you're implying a woman couldn't do this??? hahahahahahahahahahahaha, you're funny and clueless

        August 30, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
        • Mrs Pope.

          Jesus’ female disciples stayed with Jesus during His death, proving themselves to be more faithful than most of His male disciples.

          August 30, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
        • Reality

          Au Contraire,

          Jesus was crucified with the other rabble of the day. There were no witnesses other than the Roman troops assigned to carry out crucifixions. I recommend checking the studies of Professors JD Crossan and also Professor Gerd Ludemann.

          August 30, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
  17. Larry

    As long as it's not an Anthony Weiner selfie...

    August 30, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  18. Dyslexic doG

    yawn

    August 30, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
  19. Doc Vestibule

    NEXT ENTRY:
    Pope watches "talkie" at cinema.

    August 30, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  20. Belief Blog Selfie

    eifleS golB feileB

    August 30, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
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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.