Pope Francis says he has felt "used" by people claiming to be his friend since he became pontiff, in a radio interview touching on the personal side of his papacy, the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website reports today (September 15, 2015).
"I never had so many quote-unquote 'friends' as now. Everyone is the pope's friend," Francis said in a telephone interview with radio station Milenium in his native Argentina.
"I have felt used by people who presented themselves as my friends and whom I hadn't seen more than once or twice in my life. They have used that to their own benefit. But it's an experience we all go through," he told Argentine journalist Marcelo Gallardo -- a real-life friend since the days when the pope was bishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires.
"Friendship in the utilitarian sense -- let's see what advantage I can gain by getting close to this person and becoming friends -- that pains me," he told Gallardo in the interview, which was broadcast on September 13.