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
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(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. horus

    hh, fascinating, observer. again, what did buddha say that was attributed to jesus? no comment? then why keep repeating it if you don't know? who attributed buddha's words to jesus, any idea? and why? to correct the errors you think are in the old testament? according to you, them goat herders had no means, no education, and they were deluded, iron age nomads. so, who were the dudes following buddha 400 years earlier you appreciate so much, einstein and newton? not to worry. i promise you, now, in advance, athies CANNOT offer a serious response. they will not touch it. posted on August 26

    god's spirit is moving in Brazil and Africa

    August 31, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      not sure about buddha, but confucious taught the golden rule long before jesus.

      August 31, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        I'm not really sure of anything but I do like to seem important.

        August 31, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          hahaha, i have an admirer.

          August 31, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      atheists can't offer a serious answer? your ego is enormous. i'll give you one:

      i don't know who 'hh' is, but buddhists AND christians are wrong. all religions are cults, including buddhism and christianity. all religions teach you to turn your brain off, to stop thinking and just obey. cults/religions are bad for you. what is the difference between a "cult" and a "religion"? one is accepted by society, one is not. once a cult is accepted, it becomes a religion. when a cult/religion no longer has any followers, it becomes a mythology. the specific voodoo chants and rituals may differ, but at the end of the day, both christianity and buddhism explain the world not by reason, logic and facts, but by magic. how was the world made? magic. lazy lazy lazy. so in answer to your question, buddhism, christianity... all look same.

      August 31, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
      • bootyfunk

        i have a crush on sam stone. she is a real woman. she is very adaptable and believes in sui cide 4 her enemies

        August 31, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
      • bootyfunk

        i have a crush on sam stone. she is a real woman. she is very adaptable and believes in sui cide 4 her enemies

        where's observer

        August 31, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      The thing about me is that I've been proved ignorant of all Truth, repeatedly.

      August 31, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
  2. children of Israel

    Romans 3:5 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; *Isaiah 19:25 Whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance. *Deuteronomy 32:9 For the Lord's portion is his people; Jacob is the Lot of his inheritance. *Psalm 105:6 O ye seed of Abraham his servant, and ye children of Jacob his chosen. *John 13:18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: *Romans 1:11 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

    August 31, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Doobs

      "The truth is like grits, you can't serve it up plain, you got to put a little salt on it." – Shane Vendrell

      August 31, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      didn't jacob beat god in a wrestling match? i wonder if they were all oiled up...

      August 31, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        No, I should actually read before I comment then I wouldn't look so stupid.

        August 31, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
        • Doobs

          You automatically forfeit your cred when you steal someone's screen name.

          August 31, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
        • Doobs

          Nothing is automatic

          August 31, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
  3. children of Israel

    Athesists, the media, and the lovers of the world will not utter a word against the God of Jacob. They are so afraid. (Genesis 31:29) *Exodus 15:14 The people shall hear, and be afraid.

    August 31, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • bostontola

      I wouldn't utter a word against Lex Luthor either. Why would I hate or be opposed to fictional enti.ties?

      August 31, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Doobs

      "They are so afraid."

      You spelled "indifferent" wrong.

      August 31, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      your christian god uses fear very effectively. love me or i'll kill you. disgusting.

      August 31, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • tallulah13

      So where did this Jacob guy get his own god? Godmart? And why should I care? Why should any rational human believe in gods anyway? There's no proof that they actually exist.

      August 31, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
  4. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    August 31, 2013 at 12:16 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 31, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • bostontola

      What is healthy for children and other living things? Not Christianity and prayer. Faith healing kills hundreds of innocent children. The Christian religion teaches that the earth and its living things are for men to do with as they please. That has led to centuries of exploitation, pollution, and extinction of species. Wow, that's a scary track record.

      August 31, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
      • bostonstrangler

        horus said be nice to each other or i will make you date sammie stoned

        August 31, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      actions cause change; prayer wastes valuable time.

      August 31, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        Prayer really does change things

        August 31, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
  5. children of Israel

    *Luke 9:33 And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said. *Isaiah 10:24 Therefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: *Psalm 76:1-2 In Judah is God known: his name is great in Israel. In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion. *Genesis 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. *Luke 7:23 Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. *Matthew 26:31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: (James 1:1)

    August 31, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Francisco

      Why are you quoting scripture? This is an opinion forum. Why don't you have the respect for yourself and the onlookers to say something using your own words with your own mind.

      August 31, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        you presume he has one. he gave up cognitive thinking long ago when he surrendered his mind to religion.

        August 31, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          As I gave up mine to become the best child molester on these blogs

          August 31, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
        • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

          no way! i've molested more children in a single afternoon than most molesters do all year! they call me Senor Sticky-Fingers!

          August 31, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Doobs


      Luke 9:33...yadda yadda yadda...I can't think for myself...James 1:1

      August 31, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
      • Doobs

        And I am an expert at not thinking for myself

        August 31, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
  6. HDGH45634


























    August 31, 2013 at 11:09 am |
  7. bostontola

    I have a strange ambivalence to Catholism. On one hand, it is the most "religious" of Christian sects (it has the most man made dogma and traditions). On the other hand, it seems to be the most live and let live sect, it tries hard to accommodate and embrace science, art, literature, etc. Overall, I dont feel them trying to slant laws their way or proselytize much. I prefer to be in a society of Catholics than evangelicals or fundamentalists. Most Protestants are pretty cool too.

    August 31, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Tish

      Most evangelicals ARE Protestant. But I agree with your post for the most part.

      August 31, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
      • bostontola

        True, but not most Protestant are evangelical.

        August 31, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
  8. children of Israel

    Matthew 26:33 Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. *John 9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: *Isaiah 1:15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. *Matthew 27:25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.

    August 31, 2013 at 10:15 am |
  9. Alias

    We all know the priests and bishops ave been sharing sefies ever since they cracked down on alter boy interactions.

    August 31, 2013 at 10:12 am |
  10. children of Israel

    John 18:7 Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man's disciples? He saith, I am not. *John 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. *Psalm 100:3 we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. *Luke 1:68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, *Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: For he shall save his people from their sins. *Psalm 77:15 Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.

    August 31, 2013 at 9:56 am |
  11. children of Israel

    *John 3:14 And Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: *John 7:52 for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. *Acts 11:27 And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. *Galatians 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

    August 31, 2013 at 9:34 am |
  12. children of Israel

    Correction! *Jeremiah 2:30 In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction: (Church Christian) *1st Peter 4:16-17 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? *Genesis 49:16-17 Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a serpent by the way,.. (Genesis 3:1)

    August 31, 2013 at 9:18 am |
  13. Reality

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

    And the phrase "upon this rock I will build my church"? That was invented by Matthew and therefore Francis' job has no historic credence.

    August 31, 2013 at 8:35 am |
    • Milton

      Catholic church numbers (figures from 2006-7)

      Working as teachers, health workers and missionaries is a total 945,210.

      Of the total, 753,400 members were women,

      while 191,810 were men

      Actually, there are more women in the ministry, so, there goes your hypothesis.

      August 31, 2013 at 9:02 am |
      • Math

        That means ~80% of those serving in the ministry are women!!!

        August 31, 2013 at 9:05 am |
      • Doobs

        Read the OP again, Milton. Reality said "his job".

        Women have always been relegated to doing the grunt work in religion. No one is arguing that.

        August 31, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
  14. Lionly Lamb


    August 31, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • Yes & No

      Better get on TOP of POT before it gets on TOP of YOU!

      August 31, 2013 at 9:10 am |
  15. Lionly Lamb


    August 31, 2013 at 7:38 am |
  16. Lionly Lamb


    August 31, 2013 at 7:27 am |
  17. Lionly Lamb


    August 31, 2013 at 6:59 am |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    August 31, 2013 at 4:46 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Again you lie! 16 people have measles due to praying instead of getting vaccinated; 2 innocent children are dead because their idiot parents prayed instead of getting them medical attention.

      August 31, 2013 at 5:51 am |
      • bostontola

        Apparently prayer is not healthy for children.

        August 31, 2013 at 8:46 am |
  19. The Globalizer

    I'm an atheist but I rather enjoy this new pope. Seems like a decent fellow, all things being equal.

    August 31, 2013 at 4:19 am |
  20. Lionly Lamb


    August 31, 2013 at 4:05 am |
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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.