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
[twitter-follow screen_name='EricCNNBelief']

(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. a crackhead: atheist Figurehead/Leader

    If you give me $20 I'll do that to you.

    August 30, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • a crackhead: atheist Figurehead/Leader

      tom, help me be a better troll like you. and can you lend me some money?

      August 30, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
    • Dippy

      It is "Wow, you are bad at trolling", not "Wow you are bad at trolling."

      August 30, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
  2. a crackhead: atheist Figurehead/Leader

    I don't believe in god, so technically i'm qualified to be an atheist leader. you got any rocks?

    August 30, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • a crackhead: atheist Figurehead/Leader

      im atheist

      August 30, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
    • a crackhead: atheist Figurehead/Leader

      ill do gay things to you....for $30

      August 30, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
  3. Mrs Pope.

    Dear Mr Pope,
    In the whole of Jesus’ public ministry there was nothing in His words or deeds that indicated any concern to restrict the spiritual service of women. NOTHING.
    Jesus’ female disciples stayed with Jesus during His death, proving themselves to be more faithful than most of His male disciples.
    Mr Pope, I hope you aren't standing in the way of Jesus Christ.
    Christians (followers of Jesus, not catholicism)

    August 30, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • Jay in Florida

      The Pope says women can't serve so they can't serve. But he does allow us to ignore the part about women remaining silent in church.

      August 30, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
      • Tom Tom the Other One


        Wow you are bad at trolling.

        August 30, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
  4. Rick from L.A.

    This guy is the people pope. I dub him Pope Francis the Awesome.

    August 30, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      Then have the pope smoke a big fat one.... Then we'll see his true colors....

      August 30, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
  5. Lionly Lamb

    LET'S defeat all mannerisms of diseases with the herb that cures many of mankind's illnesses thru a godly given herb...


    August 30, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Calm down there, Colorado and Washington have legalized it, the government has basically wiped the federal laws against it and left it to the individual states...this drug war is coming to an end and then you'll be free to partake again.

      August 30, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        One cannot forget the 13 or 17 states that have made reefer a medicinal product... I can see the major pharmaceutical companies spending oodles of PAC money going to statesmen in congress and the senate to divide the general populace's ever growing numbers to have cannabis made legal for one and all... And yes, I can hardly wait to smoke it legally... I might add years to my Life by smoking it and giving up smoking tobacco...

        August 30, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
        • Jay in Florida

          Thou shall not get high

          August 30, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
        • Jay in Florida

          And do not get high with marijuana, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,

          Ephesians 5:18

          August 30, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          For once we agree on something :-). The facts are for it. Set aside the personal use of it, the plant alone when used for hemp is amazing...we could save our forests if we start using it. The tax dollar that could be earned should be flashing through minds of the law makers like crazy, it would certainly help to pull the country out of the hole.

          Jay: Thous shalt not tell another person what they can or can't do with their body. If no harm is coming to another person, then it's not anyone's business.

          August 30, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Mothered Jay in Florida...

          Go peddle your trashy nonsense where it belongs... In the wastelands' garbage dumps... Let science itself prove to the general public the amazing medicinal benefits of marijuana... Many doctors and psychiatrists and neurologists are coming on board for marijuana's proven uses for beneficial needs in many physical maladies and psychological impairments...

          August 30, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
        • JUnkeY


          August 30, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb


          August 30, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
  6. Dill Beacon

    Jesus intentionally met the women at the tomb and intentionally bestowed authority upon them to preach the gospel.
    And Jesus didn't ordain anyone. Men started doing that and failed in carrying out what Jesus asks.

    August 30, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Samizdat

      According to Christians women are free to testify to the good news of Jesus and His resurrection.
      But if you are Catholic, they aren't supposed to according to the male leaders.

      August 30, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
      • Jay in Florida

        thou shalt not judge

        August 30, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • joe


      August 30, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
      • Jay in Florida

        thous shalt not lie

        August 30, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
        • J


          August 30, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
  7. basketcase

    A selfie of the pope and a selfie that the pope is in are not the same thing. The pope isn't taking the picture, so it's not a papal selfie.

    Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go shoot myself in the mouth for analyzing selfies too much.

    August 30, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
  8. Pamela Hocken

    Is it really a "selfie" if he didn't take the picture of himself?

    August 30, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Tom Tom the Other One

      Wow you are bad at trolling.

      August 30, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
      • J


        August 30, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          ....If NO one understands it, we are not having this discussion genius.

          August 30, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
  9. Jay in Florida

    Boring troll. This Pope studied psychology, which sort of binds him to science... and also said he cannot judge gay people. Guess what retard? you are the one who needs to go away.

    August 30, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • J

      TEBOW IS ARYAN. TEBOW IS THE FUTURE!!! (Well, if he could throw a pass!)

      August 30, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
  10. At Heist

    We atheists now more about science than you. We will use science to defeat you. And since no christian knows anything about science you will lose.

    August 30, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • Jay in Florida

      Wrong. Very wrong. I am a catholic, and I have the letters MS next to my name. Get a life.

      August 30, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
      • Jay in Florida

        You are confusing being nice with being stupid, which I am not. If you don't like what I said.. too bad. Deal with it.

        August 30, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
      • Samizdat

        Apple Bush

        I just called someone a Christard... a combination of christian and retard. I make fun of retards. And you have no problem with that. Lets be friends! :0

        August 30, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        Samizdat: Many use the word christards, it can be fitting at times.

        August 30, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        Making fun of retards is scientifically proven to be ok.

        August 30, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • J


      We shall beat the catholic beast with our knives (we can't own Guns–atheists are too liberal!!)!!! Join me in my orgiastic killing. We shall roast him upon a fire.

      August 30, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        Atheists do have guns. Luckily most crime is atheist on atheist, so the Catholics are safe.

        August 30, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
  11. Jay in Florida

    This Pope is awesome!!!. The humblest person to ever occupy the helm of the church, very smart, educated, and the first Pope from Latin America. Also a person who does not condemn the gay community, and who stops during his travels to show his love for common people. I wish the Catholic church would elect persons like him all the time.

    August 30, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • Jay in Florida

      If you don't like it... you have full freedom to leave, and find yourself another church. Deal with it.

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

        I worship myself. A lot.

        August 30, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
      • J

        Ahhh yes. Plebians. Allow us to take a glass of wine and toast to his idiocy.

        Alas, I must mourn the poor religious fools, when I take my sceptre and smite them down, censoriously! They should all be eliminated, they don't understand the true German State. You see, we come from a select group of people, the Aryans, champions of the world and leaders of Greece and Rome. These religious "traditions" are foolhardy– as Nietzsche says, "God is dead" and "Might is right," simply machinations designed to pervert the true Germo-Aryan State! We shall eliminate the pests who have designed this wicked plan... THEY ARE TO BLAME! RELIGION IS FOOLHARDY, A TOOL! NOW LET ME GET BACK TO MY HOLOCAUST!!!

        August 30, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • J.C.

      There are now churches that allow gay people to attend. And Jesus Christ is showing up in those churches. Just like he shows up in h.o.mophobic churches, he shows up in gay churches.
      In exactly the same manner.
      Watch a Catholic service and a progressive Christian church service. Jesus shows up, just as he promises. Regardless if you discriminate or not.

      August 30, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
      • J.C.

        When 2 or 3 gather in His name, He promises to show up.

        August 30, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        The United Church does; I believe Doc mentioned the Anglican church also.
        I have my issues with the church, however, this pope holds some admiral qualities...he deserves credit where it is due.

        August 30, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
  12. NOpe

    No, he is not.

    August 30, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
  13. Edward

    Defeat science? Good luck with that one.

    August 30, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • neoritter

      Don't feed the troll.

      August 30, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
  14. Rod C. Venger

    The Church's worth may be more than you realize. It has artworks and jewels and artifacts...plus real estate holdings and corporate interests, and some items that are literally priceless...that may push it's worth past a Trillion. But that's not the same as cash. You can't spend a 1,000 year old artifact or a trunk full of jewels. I'm not catholic though was raised as one and the Church both takes in and gives Billions every year. But there's a difference between helping people and making them dependent. The Church would not want to make people financially dependent on the Church. It's not their job to raise and provide for people for their lives, unless they happen to be priests, nuns or other wards of the Church. The Church absolutely helps people in need. You'd have them support them for life? Or pay for their homes and cars? You take the challenge out of bettering oneself and having some pride in what people have accomplished on their own. The Church is there to support their souls, not enrich them in earthly ways.

    August 30, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
  15. wikipoops.com

    Let me see a picture of the pope in the bathroom with an iPhone and an arm bra. Then I will be impressed.

    August 30, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
  16. midwest rail

    My disdain for Bill is no secret, but stealing his name to post drivel like this is worse than anything he's ever posted here.

    August 30, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • Responding to the Pride

      stealing a handle...bringing atheists and believers together like no other act of sabotage can.

      August 30, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
      • midwest rail

        Please cite any post of mine where I have indicated that I am an atheist.

        August 30, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
  17. Andy Thaguz

    Just as long as he doesn't twerk.

    August 30, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
  18. please

    please kids... stop with the f'ing selfies!!

    August 30, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  19. Kyle

    The funniest thing is that these kids were all arrogantly trying to get their faces in the photo that in the end they practically pushed the Pope out of it. Oh, well. It'll be a nice thing to show the grandkids in 50 years – a picture of your ugly mug, and 3/4 of the pontiff's face.

    August 30, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • J

      The inanity and selfishness of the human race, symbolized and personified.

      August 30, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
  20. omeany

    I'm not Catholic but I find I really like this Pope.

    August 30, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
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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.