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December 3rd, 2013
02:11 PM ET

Pope: I was once a bar bouncer

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(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. madonfan

    It's a good thing to consider that the office of Pope isn't even in the bible. Peter was married also. Mary called God Her Savior. Only a woman capable of sin needs a Savior. Just good things to consider....:)

    December 3, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • JDD

      The office of the Pope is established by Jesus in Matthew 16:18-19, referencing the Old Testament pattern of Isaiah 22:22. It's actually a Jewish model of passing on of authority from one teacher to the next.

      December 3, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
  2. jj

    A true life of service. Hip hip hooray for this guy.

    December 3, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
  3. fj

    what is the world coming to? first a nazi pope, then a bouncer pope. wonder what's next.

    December 3, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Hopefully no pope!

      December 3, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Madtown

      Radio talk-show host turned Pope?

      December 3, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Punchmaster

      Hopefully NO pope at all.

      December 3, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • tony

      Rush Bimbo is going to lead a popular voter uprising to overthrow the Marxist pope and replace hime with a "true conservative" and "good" christian, such as himself.

      December 3, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • JDD

      Were all young men living in Germany, who were forced into military service, Nazi's? Study Ratzinger's life.

      December 3, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
  4. doobzz

    Hey, where has Bill Deacon been? He should be all over this.

    December 3, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
  5. Mr Lits

    I'm not a Catholic myself but I have a new found respect for this Pope. He really does have the virtues of Jesus. He really is an everyman who has decides to try to better the world around him and bring life back to a dying faith. All Christians should look to this man as an example of Christ-like behavior. Cheers to you Pope!!

    As for Mr. Limbaugh I'm betting there is no seat in paradise waiting for that war, hate, and race monger.

    December 3, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • VJ

      agreed!! I am a Hindu, I like this pope....He will set an example for future pope.

      December 3, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Gobsmacked

      Could not agree more. May find my way back to my Catholic roots one day after all . . .

      December 3, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Ann Day

      Judge not lest ye be judged.

      December 3, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  6. svscnn

    Love this guy!

    December 3, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Pliny

      Totally agree!

      December 3, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
  7. Dyslexic doG

    CNN

    It's a pope-overdose! Please rename the "Belief Blog" to the "Catholic Blog" or the "Pope Fan Club" and then at least we'll be accurate.

    There are other religions in the world!

    December 3, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • svscnn

      And you were forced to click and read by...?

      December 3, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • ToldUso

      No worries, they always do a Wiccan story around Halloween.

      December 3, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
      • Dennis

        Yeah, but when was the last time they did a story on the Pastafarians?

        December 3, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
  8. iReason

    THAT explains why Rush Limbaugh doesn't like this pope. He tossed his a __ __ out of the bar.

    December 3, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
  9. Annastasia

    If you want the people in the church, get the pedophiles out first. Put them in jail like the rest of the nations would do.

    December 3, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • doobzz

      ^this

      December 3, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • JDD

      Would you then leave the human race as well, until all the pedophiles are removed? The point is that pedophilia is a human problem, not simply a Catholic one. We aren't free of association with corruption in our world, simply by removing ourselves from identifying formally with any faith. Pedophiles exist just as much among those with no professed faith in God.

      In any case I wish you well, and I recommend a book called "Rome Sweet Home" by Scott Hahn.

      December 3, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
  10. Topher

    We need a photo side by side of Rush and the Toronto mayor just to be absolutely sure it isn't the same person.

    December 3, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • ToldUso

      Oxy addict vs crack smoker, easy to tell the difference.

      December 3, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
      • rino

        Crack smoker is the fat one.

        December 3, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
        • Gobsmacked

          hahahahah!!

          December 3, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
  11. Sherman

    does this mean future presidents can wear blue jeans to work?

    December 3, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
  12. Dave

    Poor Rush. He can't help it that his entire party is falling apart underneath him.

    December 3, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Bob Bobson

      Everything crumbles under Rush's weight.

      December 3, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
  13. justin

    Good, he can probably beat the crap out of Rush "drug addict" Limbaugh. Let him have a shot. Jesus would be all for it.

    December 3, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
  14. Topher

    uh-oh......here come the polytheists.

    December 3, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
  15. Okay Guy

    Holy Smokes! Is this guy an everyman or what? No wonder he's so on the people's wavelength. I'm far from religious, but
    I'd listen to this man over the televangelists any day of the week. He had me with the hug of that afflicted gentleman.

    December 3, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Joe

      Ok, reality here for a second. I feel the same way as you, but we're excited about a guy that is "normal"... isn't that 99% of the world's population?

      December 3, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
  16. JimK558

    Gosh, Humans in this century don't REALLY believe in supernatural deities....do they??

    December 3, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Topher

      Crazy right?!!

      But it's a good sell for the uneducated masses that cover Earth. You get a god, a soul, and you get to not die when you die ( I mean not really really die)

      December 3, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        forget the rest of your post and leave it at just "crazy"

        December 3, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • JDD

      Well, there's this series of books called "Scientists Who Believe" which might help you out.

      December 3, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
  17. nuts

    and there u have it. the Pope has more gonads than rush the pill popper

    December 3, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Thomas Paine

      Yeah i know rush got a 4-f on his vietnam draft from having a pimple on his ass of course then again the weight of his fat ass also helped too me thinks

      December 3, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
  18. ToldUso

    This guy is almost enough to make me want to be Catholic again.

    December 3, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  19. Fr33th1nk3r

    Rush Limbaugh must have diarrhea'ed all over himself when he read this article....

    December 3, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  20. Joe

    a gay bar???

    December 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Topher

      Generally not necessary, we're pretty well-behaved.

      December 3, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
      • Jack 2

        Don't you guys just smack each other when mad?

        December 3, 2013 at 3:34 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.