Pope Francis is straight O.G.: Original Goth. Show him some mercy, and he'll grab the bling right off your dead carcass and wear it in a pouch next to his skin for all time. Really:
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis confessed Thursday that he took the rosary cross of his late confessor from his casket and wears it to this day in a fabric pouch under his cassock. He said he did so telling the late priest, "Give me half your mercy."
Lest that sound weirdly wrong and hyperbolic—like a Gawker lede, or something!—let il papa explain:
Francis made the revelation Thursday during an informal chat with Roman priests about the need to be merciful to their flocks. He told the story of the "great confessor" of Buenos Aires who had heard confessions from most of the diocesan priests as well as from Pope John Paul II when he visited Argentina.
When the priest died, Francis went to pray by his open casket and was stunned that no one had brought any flowers.
"This man forgave the sins of all the priests of Buenos Aires, but not a single flower ...?" Francis recalled. So he went out and bought a bouquet of roses, and when he returned to arrange them around the casket, he saw the rosary the priest still held in his hand.
"And immediately there came to mind the thief we all have inside ourselves and while I arranged the flowers I took the cross and with just a bit of force I removed it," he said, showing with his hands how he pulled the cross off the rosary. "And in that moment I looked at him and I said 'Give me half your mercy.'"
To which the corpse said nothing, because you know, corpse.
None of this should be terribly surprising, coming from a supreme pontiff who's previously revealed his penchant for socialism, black leather, and Wagner's Ring cycle. He's so goth, it's virtually assured at this point that the papal residence includes a dead black cat named Roberto Smith that smokes cloves and shits bats.
So where's the purloined cross now? Francis explained that he used to keep it in a pocket. But his regal cassocks are pocketless, so now he keeps it in a pouch... under the cassock:
"And whenever a bad thought comes to mind about someone, my hand goes here, always," he said, gesturing to his heart. "And I feel the grace, and that makes me feel better."
Hmm. You know who else reached for the cross by their heart in times of stress?
[Photo credit: AP]