The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Pope Francis and President Barack Obama smile as they exchange gifts, at the Vatican Thursday, March 27, 2014.
Pope Francis and President Barack Obama smile as they exchange gifts, at the Vatican Thursday, March 27, 2014.
(AP Photo/Gabriel Bouys, Pool)

ERIC REGULY

How the President and Pope see eye to eye

Moments after Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope in the Sistine Chapel, Cardinal Auri Alfonso Hummes whispered, “Don’t forget the poor people” into the ear of the elderly Argentine who was about to chose Francis as his papal name.

The new pope did not. In his first year, Pope Francis has won a global following among Catholics and non-Catholics for his sympathy for, and solidarity with, the poor and his criticism of the excesses of capitalism. “In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenceless before the interests of a deified market, which becomes the only rule,” he said in November.