VATICAN CITY (UPI) — Pope Francis told parishioners in a church near Rome that when he was a student he worked as a bouncer to earn money.
Other early jobs the former Jorge Mario Bergoglio had before turning to the priesthood included sweeping floors and running chemical lab tests, the pope said Sunday at the church of San Cirillo Alessandrino in a suburban working-class neighborhood, the Catholic News Service reported.
The pope also celebrated mass at the church, named for a fifth-century Coptic pope, the news agency reported, citing Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.
But Francis told parishioners it was his work in the 1960s, teaching literature and psychology in Catholic high schools in Argentina, that taught him how to get people back into the church, the agency said.
Concerning his bouncer work, New York magazine imagined a conversation between Bergoglio and the owner of an exclusive nightclub — after Bergoglio the bouncer just let a bunch of teenagers stream into the club.
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 to the club. We’re going for an “exclusive, VIP”-type vibe, and I’m seeing a lot of poorly dressed losers in here. Also a number of lepers.
Bergoglio: Is not all of mankind deserving of respect? The street urchin and the nobleman alike are equally blessed by the Lord’s grace.
Club Owner: You’re fired.
Bergoglio: Yup, OK.