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Who has most inspired Pope Francis' philosophy?

Philosopher Massimo Borghesi received four audio files from the pope. They reveal which people have most influenced the pontiff.

From these files, Borghesi was able to put together an analysis on the philosophy behind the pope who came from Argentina.

 "It seems that my brother cardinals have gone to the ends of the earth…"

Author, “Jorge Mario Bergoglio's Intellectual Journey”
"It was unclear what intellectual sources influenced him, so the only way to find out was to ask him in person. It was a bold move. It is not easy for a pope to speak of his formation.”

However Pope Francis did speak. This allowed Massimo Borghesi to rebuild the pope's philosophical journey over the years and captured it in this book: “Jorge Mario Bergoglio's Intellectual Journey.” Here he responds to those who affirm that Pope Francis is a populist pope with no thought behind his actions.

Author, “Jorge Mario Bergoglio's Intellectual Journey”
"His choice to speak in simple language actually masks a very complex intellectual background."

In his book, Massimo Borghesi explains why Bergoglio so often quotes Paul VI's Evangelii Nuntiandi, and why the writings of the Jesuit Gaston Fessard left a deep impression on him. His reflections on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius were crucial for the future pope.

Author, “Jorge Mario Bergoglio. An intellectual biography”
“The Spiritual Exercises allow Bergoglio to understand that the Christian life is not sitting and waiting. It is in continuous tension. Fessard taught him how the whole mystique, the spiritual life of St. Ignatius, is governed by the opposition between grace and freedom within man, the infinitely great and the infinitely small, between the initiative of God and that of man.”

“Jorge Mario Bergoglio's Intellectual Journey” aims to be a guide to understand what lies behind writings such as Laudato si' or Evangelii Gaudium, or how Pope Francis makes decisions.

These include diplomatic decisions, in how he does politics, and unpredictable decisions, such as bringing a group of refugees to Rome after he visited Lesbos.

Finally, there are his spiritual decisions, such as calling an extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy in 2016.

Javier Romero

Translation: KM