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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. He can pay for a cellphone but people are starving?

    Sure, he's a TRUE CHRISTIAN, ain't he? Living in ungodly wealth and luxury, on top of huge vaults of money and art treasures, while people starve and freeze to death all over the world.

    He makes it even worse by telling poor people they can't use birth control and force them to have children they can't afford to feed and who will almost be guaranteed a death from starvation, malnutrition or disease.

    But hey look! He took a picture of himself! HURRAY!

    August 30, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • Bill

      What kind of phone do you have?

      August 30, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        The better of his points, Bill, is the concept in the second paragraph.

        August 30, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
    • ryan

      you realize the Roman Catholic Church is the largest charitable organization in the history of the human race right? you also realize that Pope Francis lives in a one bedroom appartment right?

      August 30, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
    • Amy

      You do realize that he took a vow of poverty? He doesn't live a wealthy lifestyle. And, if you took a minute to research and understand the Catholic faith and teachings, instead of accusing his holiness of something so ridiculous as forcing people to have children they cannot afford, you would be ashamed. But, you would rather pass judgment on someone and something you know nothing about. Right on. May God Bless you.

      August 30, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
      • Colin

        Amy, the Catholic Church actively opposes any kind of birth control, including making contraceptives and condoms available in very poor or AIDS infested areas. It is remarkable and aloof arrogance from an organization that is often so dedicated to charitable works.

        It goes to show how religion can poison the minds of even the most caring of people.

        August 30, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
        • Brittney

          Colin is an example of how pretension can poison the minds of even the most caring of people.

          August 30, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
        • Colin

          So Brittany, do you disagree with what I said, or do you just resent the fact that I said it?

          August 30, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
        • Brittney

          It is pathetic to watch a hypocrite point the blame at a broad concept like religion, when you can't even behave like a caring person yourself.

          August 30, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
        • Colin

          So, still avoiding the issue. Look, the Catholic church has actively opposed condom use in subsaharan Africa, thereby sentencing millions to a slow painful death from AIDs. It has also actively opposed making contraceptives free and available to dirt poor women in the Phillipined and Brazil. This sentences them to a life of having to feed five or more children.

          It is a global and disgusting abuse of power and trust.

          August 30, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
        • Brittney

          You are trying to spread pure bunk. Not only is there absolutely no evidence of millions of people contracting AIDS in Catholic-dominated areas, the opposite appears to be true. If anything, Catholic teaching, forbidding s~ex-on-demand seems to be saving countless lives. And of course, Toynbee's claim that Catholics are to blame for the AIDS orphans in “countries where 50% are infected” is equally (and demonstrably false). There are no countries with 50% infection rate.

          http://catholicdefense.blogspot.com/2011/09/what-impact-does-catholic-teaching-have.html

          August 30, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
        • Colin

          Brittany, Are you really that fvcking stupid. This peverse, death-causing logic infuriates me. Ever heard of Brazil? Of South Africa? Of the rest of Subsaharan Africa? Heavilly Catholic areas where AIDS is rampant. To the extent it is controlled, it is because governments ignore the Catholic Church and inst.itute public policies that provide access to condoms. The World Health Organization has cited Catholic Church opposigtion to condom use as a principal contrributor to the spread of the virus.

          August 30, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
        • What Colin has done to help the AIDS victims

          : nada

          August 30, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
        • hharri

          Colin

          Amy, the Catholic Church actively opposes any kind of birth control, including making contraceptives and condoms available in very poor or AIDS infested areas. It is remarkable and aloof arrogance from an organization that is often so dedicated to charitable works.
          It goes to show how religion can poison the minds of even the most caring of people.

          what you prove is that you have no clue. when did catholics begin opposing abstention?

          August 30, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        It is the epitome of a wealthy lifestyle – a whole city plus a summer residence and that's just for the Pope, the RCC is one of the world's welathiest organizations.

        August 30, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
        • hharri

          and has contributed more funding to charitable endeavors than any other group in the world

          August 30, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
      • Robert

        Amy, great job defending the faith! I realize that it can be hard and very frustrating at times, but your attempts are truly virtuous. You are doing a great job – you have planted the seeds of truth – now it is up to them. You have done your part.

        August 30, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
  2. Al K. Hall

    Is it just me, or does this pontiff appear to get "it"? He's seems to be more in tune with the people and less about the politics of the Vatican. Let's hope he keep chugging along.

    August 30, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      The Vatican is a horrible beast and although I would love it, I just don't think that one man with good intentions is going to tame that monster. I tend to think that the pope will operate as he wishes, but only at the Vatican's pleasure. He will stay no longer than the machine allows.

      August 30, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
      • hharri

        Cpt. Obvious
        The Vatican is a horrible beast and although I would love it, I just don't think that one man with good intentions is going to tame that monster. I tend to think that the pope will operate as he wishes, but only at the Vatican's pleasure. He will stay no longer than the machine allows.

        one man inspired more good than all lying atheists combined. one uneducated, poor, isolated, decent, caring, good man who lived thousands of years ago, spoke and his words still speak, and have been the catalyst for more people to do good, than anyone.

        stay focused churches or ministers or celebrities and you will continue to be blind to him. remember horus, you lying phony

        August 30, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
  3. David

    THIS IS NOT A SELFIE! A) He is not taking the picture! That's your first clue!!!!!

    August 30, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • Colin

      YES IT IS! You are delusional and believe in fairy tales is you don't agree with my ego.

      August 30, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
  4. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things ,

    August 30, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • Prayer Changes Things - except AMPUTEES

      GOD HATES AMPUTEES.

      That's why, in the entire history of the world, not one amputee has ever had their prayer for their lost limb to spontaneously grow back has EVER happened.

      EVER.

      August 30, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
      • Colin

        Now you'll have to list every amputee in history and prove that none were healed. It is a pathetic excuse for a human being that uses the misfortunes of others to bolster their sick hatreds and bigotry.

        August 30, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          As you're so confident – provide, say 10 verifiable examples where amputees successfully prayed and their limbs regrew. I'm pretty sure if it had happened we'd have heard about it – we hear about "Jesus in toast" after all.

          August 30, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
      • hharri

        problem? you don't want to be embarrassed, again? lol

        August 31, 2013 at 12:11 am |
      • hharri

        problem? you don't want to be embarrassed, again? lol

        lawsuit

        August 31, 2013 at 12:12 am |
      • hharri

        problem? you don't want to be embarrassed, again? lol

        lawsuit

        yo observer, where is kelly. i sent her post to authorities, you know, the one in which she explains how to hack this site

        August 31, 2013 at 12:14 am |
  5. Apple Bush

    It is dark in your South African condo. You come into the living room to switch off the television. You are ready to join your girlfriend in the bedroom. It is Valentine’s Day. As you pad quietly up the stairs, you here a peculiar sound and hear a door shut. You start, then collect yourself and retrieve your gun from the nearby closet. Thinking your beautiful sweetheart is in the bedroom sleeping, your mind reels madly. Terrified you fire without thinking through the bathroom door where you just heard noises. Four times you fire your gun. Your girlfriend is not in bed sleeping. Where is your god now?

    August 30, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • Realist

      You're an idiot.

      August 30, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Apple Bush: and yet they're still bringing Blade Runner up on charges... do you think that's how it happened?

      August 30, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I think it's a fair point, actually. When things are at their worst, where is god? Usually in the form of a compassionate person, if you're lucky enough to find one in your hour of need.

      August 30, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
      • In my case the role of god was played by a gerbil

        When things got tough for me, my gerbil came to the rescue. God was the gerbil, right? I mean, that's what you hinted at – that people who need help and find a compassionate person has found God.

        So – God is a gerbil. Squirmy little god, up there, in that nice, dark, moist, humid, dank rectum of mine...

        August 30, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
        • gerbil

          it wasn't the nicest rectum

          August 30, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
        • hharri

          thanks alqeadaobseverkatetomtommoron for rebuking this perverted sam stoned wannab

          August 31, 2013 at 12:35 am |
  6. Apple Bush

    More investigations on wikipoops.com today. Wow, what a pile of shit.

    August 30, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
  7. wikipoops.com

    u. s. Gov't testing on rabbits. Ethical? http://www.wikipoops.com

    August 30, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
  8. ertycxvdfasd231

    SALE OF VENEZUELA TO MI6.

    WHY WHEN YOU SEND COMPLAINTS TO THESE NOT THE ANSWER EUROPOL?.

    DRUGS USED TO PRODUCE DISEASE IN VENEZUELA IN STUDIES OF THE HUMAN RACE?.

    WHY MI6 MURDERER TO DIANA?.

    htpp :/ / http://www.pgiorg.blog.com

    htpp :/ / http://www.pgiorg.blog.com

    htpp :/ / http://www.pgiorg.blog.com

    htpp :/ / http://www.pgiorg.blog.com

    htpp :/ / http://www.pgiorg.blog.com

    htpp :/ / http://www.pgiorg.blog.com

    htpp :/ / http://www.pgiorg.blog.com

    htpp :/ / http://www.pgiorg.blog.com

    htpp :/ / http://www.pgiorg.blog.com

    htpp :/ / http://www.pgiorg.blog.com

    htpp :/ / http://www.pgiorg.blog.com
    August 30, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply

    August 30, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
  9. Apple Bush

    Sorry, but this is the leader of millions of schmucks and he is a schmuck. Who gives a fuck what this schmuck does?

    August 30, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
    • Captain America

      Your life must be so full filling

      August 31, 2013 at 12:20 am |
  10. Lionly Lamb Chops

    Arff Arff

    August 30, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
  11. 6 = half a dozen

    Just don't become like Miley Cyrus and twerk

    August 30, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
  12. rc roeder

    I find this refreshing,

    August 30, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
  13. Lionly Lamb

    I'm so hgih...i think this story about the pope is about pot.

    August 30, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb Chops

      You seem to be

      August 30, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
  14. Lionly Lamb

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQ3KE2Jgats&w=640&h=360]

    August 30, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      Git stoned.

      August 30, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb Chops

        R U happy now..?

        August 30, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    August 30, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
    • bostontola

      It is a proven fact that prayer changes things, just ask the hundreds of children who have died because their parents gambled on prayer vs. medical science. Prayer was not too healthy for those children.

      According to the American Cancer Society:
      ... available scientific evidence does not support claims that faith healing can actually cure physical ailments... One review published in 1998 looked at 172 cases of deaths among children treated by faith healing instead of conventional methods. These researchers estimated that if conventional treatment had been given, the survival rate for most of these children would have been more than 90 percent, with the remainder of the children also having a good chance of survival. A more recent study found that more than 200 children had died of treatable illnesses in the United States over the past thirty years because their parents relied on spiritual healing rather than conventional medical treatment. In addition, at least one study has suggested that adult Christian Scientists, who generally use prayer rather than medical care, have a higher death rate than other people of the same age.

      August 30, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
      • Michael J.

        It is a proven fact that you are a moron.

        August 30, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
        • Colin

          Yes. No debate here.

          August 30, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
        • Tima

          Michel, if you believe in prayer so much, next time you are driving on the highway, how about taking your hands off the wheel and closing your eyes and just pray to your ghost man in the sky to protect you?

          September 1, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      There is ample proof that prayer works. Many scientific studies have been conducted that validate this observation. An Israeli survey following 10,000 civil servants for 26 years found that Orthodox Jews were less likely to die of cardiovascular problems than "nonbelievers." And a study from Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., monitoring 250 people after open-heart surgery concluded that those who had religious connections and social support were 12 times less likely to die than those who had none.

      In an attempt to understand the depression that often accompanies hospitalization, Duke University researchers assessed 1,000 hospital patients; patients who drew on religious practices, including prayer, were found to cope far better than those who didn't.

      August 30, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb Chops

        Woof Woof

        August 30, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • Colin

      Science as it is presented here bears no resemblance to what science actually is and could be. Science is on the wrong road.

      August 30, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • HeavenSense

      Hi Prayerbot.

      August 30, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
  16. Lionly Lamb

    Wow you are bad at trolling.

    August 30, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • Dippy

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

      August 30, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
  17. J

    As long as they kill the Christians.

    August 30, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
  18. Tom Tom the Other One

    Wow you are bad at trolling.

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

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

      August 30, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
  19. Tom Tom the Other One

    You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down. Wow you are bad at trolling.

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

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

      August 30, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
  20. Meet Your Maker

    https://www.facebook.com/meetyourm

    My focus is to reach bigger and bigger audience, with time to share my music, feelings and passion for it with bigger crowd or the world someday if possible.
    Your support means so much to me and gets me a step closer to fulfilling my lifetime dream.
    My aim too is that we have a good quality time together and make the best of it.
    We, to Let the soul come out and universe feel it!

    August 30, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • Tom Tom the Other One

      Wow you are bad at trolling.

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

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

        August 30, 2013 at 7:03 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.