Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

Religion

In rare linguistic break, pope brushes off his German to greet 50,000 German-speaking kids

  • Vatican Pope Altar Boys-1.jpg

    Pope Francis, bottom left, is cheered by faithful as he arrives in St. Peter's Square for a meeting with altar boys and girls from the dioceses of Germany, at the Vatican, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini) (The Associated Press)

  • Vatican Pope Altar Boys-2.jpg

    Pope Francis, flanked by archbishop Karl Heinz Wiesemann attends a meeting with altar boys and girls from the dioceses of Germany, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini) (The Associated Press)

  • Vatican Pope Altar Boys-3.jpg

    Pope Francis is cheered by faithful as he arrives in St. Peter's Square for a meeting with altar boys and girls from the dioceses of Germany, at the Vatican, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini) (The Associated Press)

Pope Francis has brushed off his German to greet some 50,000 German-speaking young people on a pilgrimage to Rome.

Francis followed the all-German program during the Tuesday evening vigil service in St. Peter's Square and read from prepared German texts.

Unlike his predecessors, Francis rarely strays from Italian or his native Spanish while speaking in public. Vatican officials have said he isn't comfortable speaking in other languages and doesn't want to show favoritism.

But Francis lived in Germany in the late 1980s while researching a never-finished dissertation and his willingness to cater to the young German-speaking crowd Tuesday made clear his familiarity with the language.