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A few more things Pope Francis didn't say

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jul 25, 2013

Have you seen these lines circulating on the internet recently?

"We need saints without veil or cassock.
"We need saints who wear jeans and sneakers.
"We need saints who go to the movies, listen to music and hang out with friends."

The lines are drawn from a poem that is being attributed to Pope Francis. But he didn’t write it.

A few years ago the same lines were attributed to Pope John Paul II. He didn’t write them, either.

Mary Rezac traces the curious and ultimately mysterious history of the poem, and its sudden bursts of popularity, in an interesting bit of detective work for the Catholic News Agency.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Jul. 26, 2013 9:12 AM ET USA

    I hadn't seen this, but most people aware of this pope's intellectual prowess would dismiss the prayer as too pedestrian to be his. Despite Phil's assurances, some of what Francis IS saying continues to bother me. Yesterday's address to the young, for example, telling them to take to the streets to "mess things up" in their dioceses is fodder for a lot of misunderstanding and consequent misdirected actions.