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What Bergoglio's press director remembers most about 'his boss'

2013-03-31

FEDERICO WALLS
Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, Press Director 
"In that sense, he never wanted us to see him as a person with the type of an Archbishop or Cardinal, but just the opposite. He wanted us to see him as a person who was close to us.”

This apparently is something Bergoglio not only preached, but practiced. After working there for just a few months, Walls says his daughter got ill and had to be hospitalized. Despite their short friendship, Bergoglio did something he will never forget. 

FEDERICO WALLS
Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, Press Director 
"I felt that paternal sense from him. He would call me every single day to ask me how my daughter was doing. He would  tell me to not worry about work, to just focus my time and energy on my family.”

The Archdiocese got a call from the Pope, the day after he was elected. He apparently just wanted to check on the team and make sure everyone was doing well. He says old memories came back when he saw the newly elected Pope greeting pilgrims, and directly embracing them. 

FEDERICO WALLS
Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, Press Director 
"Back in Argentina, I would sometimes get in front of him to make way and let him pass through the crowds, but he would grab my arm and tell me: 'Don't worry about it, it's ok. Let them get close.'”

In Argentina, Bergoglio had a reputation for working with the poor, sick and underprivileged. Now Walls says he's hopeful that the same work Bergoglio brought to life in Argentina will be reflected even more in the Universal Church. 


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