December 3rd, 2013
02:11 PM ET

Pope: I was once a bar bouncer

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
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(CNN)– If St. Peter ever needs help at the Pearly Gates, his successor Pope Francis may be the perfect man for the job.

The popular pontiff was once a bouncer at a nightclub in his native Argentina, Francis told Catholics at a church outside Rome earlier this week.

He has also swept floors and run tests in a chemical laboratory, the Pope said, in revelations sure to boost his image as a "pope of the people." And, as leader of the Jesuit community in Argentina, he woke at 5:30 a.m. to do the priests' laundry, according to author Christopher Lowney.

READ MORE: When Pope Francis was put on laundry duty

Francis didn't offer details about his career as a bouncer, according to L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, or what connection his velvet-rope experience might have to his current job as Vicar of Christ and head of the Roman Catholic Church.

Instead, the Pope told the church group, "his work later in life, teaching literature and psychology, taught him how to get people back into the church," reports Catholic News Service.

Getting people into church seems to be Pope Francis' primary mission these days, as made clear by his most recent official statement, a 50,000-word pep talk to the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

READ MORE: Pope Francis: No more business as usual

In "Evangelii Gaudium" (The Joy of the Gospel), officially known as an "apostolic exhortation," Francis calls for church reforms, urges Catholics to be more bold and joyful, and castigates elements of modern capitalism.

"I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets," the Pope said, "rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security."

Did Francis leave a few barflies bruised and hurting during his bouncing days? No word on that from the Vatican yet.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Leaders • Pope Francis

soundoff (1,229 Responses)
  1. JJ

    Wow...a pope comes along who acts like a decent person instead of...well...a pope and everyone shits themselves.

    December 4, 2013 at 8:54 am |
  2. Phil

    The RCC always had bouncers/bullies... In the middle age, the RCC had the inquisition, in the WW2 they had the SS... Today they have the Mafia to make favours...

    December 4, 2013 at 8:49 am |
  3. Quid Malmborg in Plano TX

    Wow, a Marxist AND a bouncer, and a humble one at that. Still, I'm not relinquishing my disbelief and faithlessness to join some idol-worshipping religious cult. Cheers. ;-]

    December 4, 2013 at 8:10 am |
  4. Reality # 2

    Bouncer or Pope, so what!! Francis still has not come to grips with the error-filled theology and history of Christianity.

    December 4, 2013 at 7:48 am |
    • O

      Atheism has a stellar past and an error free doctrine: it was them stooges by golly.

      December 4, 2013 at 8:03 am |
      • Quid Malmborg in Plano TX

        Sarcasm is NOT one of your strong points.

        December 4, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • HotAirAce

      I'm not at all concerned about the RCC's cult rules (theology) or what they did 100+ years ago but they and this pope should, must!, be held fully accountable for the child abuse it allowed and covered up.

      December 4, 2013 at 9:03 am |
      • sam stone


        December 4, 2013 at 11:01 am |
  5. Esilef

    I told you guys. This is the coolest pope ever!

    December 4, 2013 at 4:47 am |
    • JJ

      Oh *gush* *gush* I'm about to shit my pants too!

      December 4, 2013 at 8:51 am |
  6. O

    Instead of water boarding, a more severe punishment would be to make terrorists look at Sam stone for 30 seconds! War on terror would end in 2 seconds

    December 4, 2013 at 4:35 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Still upset that Sam won't have anything to do with you?

      December 4, 2013 at 4:39 am |
      • sam stone

        it's amusing how the troll of a thousand names is obsessed with me

        December 4, 2013 at 5:51 am |
        • truthprevails1

          Yes, it is amusing...pathetic but amusing. I wonder how that lawsuit is going and how many lawyers have died laughing.

          December 4, 2013 at 6:33 am |
        • sam stone

          you don't think this troll actually contacted lawyers, do you?

          he is just a blowhard

          even though the troll is not a christian, he does share some of their characteristics, namely delusion and empty threats

          December 4, 2013 at 6:40 am |
        • truthprevails1

          No, I don't think this troll even knows what a lawyer is. I doubt this troll is much older than 13.

          December 4, 2013 at 7:12 am |
        • O

          U ever seen your face, johnny?

          December 4, 2013 at 8:01 am |
        • sam stone

          PRISON, alqeada, hide and watch

          December 4, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • danny

      This latest alias says it all – the desire to receive Sam completely. Love-hate relationships can be very hard; probably has hard as you imagine them to be.

      December 4, 2013 at 8:51 am |
  7. O

    Three stooges created everything, DoDo.

    December 4, 2013 at 4:32 am |
    • doobzz

      Take off your hat.

      December 4, 2013 at 11:39 am |
  8. lol??

    Oh yeah?? Well. Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) is the only U.S. president who was also a licensed bartender. He was co-owner of Berry and Lincoln, a saloon in Springfield, Illinois.

    Must not have sat well with the socies disguised as Christians in the WCTU.

    December 4, 2013 at 4:14 am |
  9. Vlado

    “The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.”

    December 4, 2013 at 3:19 am |
    • sam stone

      Since I do not believe in the existence of god, I do not believe in the existence of "sin".

      Now, Vlado, where are those stones?

      December 4, 2013 at 5:49 am |
  10. Stephen

    Show some respect.

    December 4, 2013 at 1:58 am |
    • sam stone

      how is this being disrespectful?

      December 4, 2013 at 3:53 am |
  11. anonymous%

    Who cares

    December 4, 2013 at 1:32 am |
  12. mike

    The catholic church is making a very purposeful move left. Their power is slipping and they are trying to appease to a broader base in hopes of sucking in more people to give them 10% of their income.

    December 4, 2013 at 1:31 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Yup, they need to stop the erosion of and then increase their market share. Business Management 101.

      December 4, 2013 at 1:34 am |
    • Sara(swati)

      In most of the world they've been left for about a century.

      December 4, 2013 at 7:25 am |
  13. Journey

    I hope they build a stain glass window in the Vatican that shows Francis throwing someone into a urinal.

    December 4, 2013 at 1:25 am |
    • Observer


      December 4, 2013 at 1:26 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Not going to happen – reality doesn't mix well with mythology.

      December 4, 2013 at 1:31 am |
      • juliet delta

        And Francis pwning a drunkie is... which one?

        December 4, 2013 at 3:51 am |
        • HotAirAce

          Reality. The other crap, as beautiful as it might look, is mythology.

          December 4, 2013 at 3:54 am |
  14. Captain Wolff

    It's okay, sir, i'm sotally tober. Whe, what? Whaddaya mean the tarbender told you to mick ke out?

    December 4, 2013 at 1:24 am |
  15. Ara

    Is this seriously the TOP story on CNN????? Give me a break.

    December 4, 2013 at 1:17 am |
    • Francisco

      Sorry to break it to you but this is NOT the top story on my browser when I type CNN.com... The top story is about the train crash that happened Sunday. This is just one of the extra stories that shows on the front page.

      December 4, 2013 at 2:14 am |
    • truthprevails1

      You do comprehend that this is a Belief Blog...right? If you don't wish to read about this stuff, then don't read it and don't comment whining that it exists-you were not forced to comment.

      December 4, 2013 at 6:46 am |
      • sam stone


        December 4, 2013 at 10:59 am |
  16. Anonymous

    IMy best guess is that this Pope is being attacked now is because he criticsized Capitalism....What a shame!!!

    This is America, "The Land of The Free", ladies and gentlemen!!!

    December 4, 2013 at 1:14 am |
    • HotAirAce

      I'm not a member of the RCC cult but I didn't see this article as an attack on Pope-A-Dope. If anything, it's a puff piece to make him look ordinary, in the most positive sense. But christians do seem to need to feel persecuted. . .

      December 4, 2013 at 1:22 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.