Pope Francis says he has felt “used” by people claiming to be his friend since he became pontiff, in a radio interview touching on the personal side of his papacy.
“I never had so many quote-unquote ‘friends’ as now. Everyone is the pope’s friend,” Francis said in a telephone interview with radio station Milenium in his native Argentina.
“I have felt used by people who presented themselves as my friends and whom I hadn’t seen more than once or twice in my life. They have used that to their own benefit. But it’s an experience we all go through,” he told Argentine journalist Marcelo Gallardo, a real-life friend since the days when the pope was bishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires.
“Friendship in the utilitarian sense — let’s see what advantage I can gain by getting close to this person and becoming friends — that pains me,” he told Gallardo in the interview, broadcast Sunday.
“Friendship is something sacred. The Bible says to have one or two friends.”
Francis, whose papacy began in March 2013, also touched on environmental destruction and religious fundamentalism in the wide-ranging conversation — a rare interview with a non-religious broadcaster.
Echoing the bold appeal to care for the planet he issued in a sweeping encyclical in June, the pope condemned humankind’s “abuse of creation.”
“We’re not friends of creation. Sometimes we treat it like our worst enemy. Think of deforestation, misuse of water, methods of extracting minerals with elements like arsenic and cyanide that end up making people sick,” he said.
Of fundamentalists, he said: “Their mission is to destroy in the name of an idea, not a reality…. They kill, attack, destroy, malign in the name of an ideological god.”
The interview came as the pope prepares to visit Cuba and the United States from September 19 to 28.
‘Go look at President Trump’s Twitter’: Portland right-wing rally organizer claims ‘mission success’
The organizer of a far-right rally in Portland, Oregon claimed the event was a "success" after President Donald Trump attacked Portlandiers protesting the group.
"A confluence of protesters on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum merged on Portland’s waterfront Saturday in a tense but relatively uneventful face-off that brought national attention, including a tweet in the hours before the protest by President Trump decrying the city’s signature anti-fascist movement," the Oregonian reported Saturday.
When a similar right-wing rally in Charlottesville, Virginia killed Heather Heyer, Trump argued there were "fine people" on both sides of the "Unite the Right" rally.
Why was Jeffrey Epstein buying size 5 women’s panties — while in jail?
The Miami Herald has another bombshell report on Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a Manhattan jail while waiting to stand trial on federal sex crimes charges.
"A decade ago, during a brief stint in Palm Beach County Jail, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein made an odd purchase at the facility’s store: two pairs of small women’s panties, size 5," the Herald reported Saturday night.
The newspaper noted, "the panties raise questions about why a childless male inmate, accused of sexually abusing girls as young as 14, would be allowed to buy female undergarments so small that they wouldn’t fit an average-sized adult woman."
White nationalist Republican ridiculed after only 2 people show up for his town hall meeting
Embattled Rep. Steve King (R-IA) suffered further humiliation on Saturday when only two people showed up for his town hall meeting with Iowa constituents.
King, who was stripped of all committee assignments for his white nationalism, was been an embarrassment for Republicans with his constant racism and misogyny.
A photo of the town hall meeting was posted on Twitter by Reuters photo editor Corinne Perkins.
Rep. King was quickly mocked in the comments.
Here's some of what people were saying: