Pope Francis was once a bouncer


During a four-hour visit to a church near Rome on Sunday, Pope Francis shared with parishioners some of the finer points of his résumé, including a stint working as a bouncer.

The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, reported that the pope told a group of parishioners at the church of San Cirillo Alessandrino about his earlier jobs, which also included sweeping floors and running laboratory tests, according to a report from the Catholic News Service.

Many were quick to note that nightclub bouncers are not exactly known for the inclusiveness that has marked Pope Francis’ reputation during his first year. New York magazine even imagined a dialogue between the pope and a club owner grappling over this issue:


“Club owner: Look, uh, Jorge, is it? I know it’s your first day, but you need to be a little more discerning about who you let in. ... I’m seeing a lot of poorly dressed losers in here. Also a number of lepers.”

Although the pope admitted to his bouncer background, he said it was his later work as a literature and psychology teacher that gave him the key to drawing people back into the church, according to the Catholic News Service.

Pope Francis’ job as a bouncer was reported back in March by Gazzetta del Sud, an Italian paper, and the Telegraph, which wrote that he worked in a bar in Buenos Aires while he was a student.


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Twitter: @danielrothberg