|Fr. Juan Carlos Scannone, S.J|
“I taught him Greek and literature in the Seminary, not Latin as some newspapers have written in recent days. Bergoglio had a diploma at the time. He came to the Seminary to study humanities. But he was my spiritual father, my rector, my provincial pastoral leader, so we had a lot of contact.” Fr. Juan Carlos Scannone is a Jesuit and director of the institute of philosophical research in the Faculty of Philosophy and Theology of San Miguel. The same faculty where Pope Francis was rector between 1980 and 1986.In an interview with Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, Fr. Scannone paints a portrait of Pope Francis, “a deeply spiritual man.”
“We met on a frequent basis for at least ten years. I consulted him on spiritual questions. I was a philosophy professor and he was a professor of pastoral theology,” he recalled.
“He sent me an e-mail” after he was elected Pope and a few days ago he called a fellow Jesuit to wish him happy birthday. He may be Pope now but he is the same approachable and friendly person he always was.” “He has always been a very serious and highly intelligent man, even when it comes to manual tasks,” Fr. Scannone went on to say. “He’s a good driver, for example. He never used a driver when he was rector and then archbishop.”
“Bergoglio is good at multi-tasking. Here in Argentina we have a word for special people like him: an orchestra man,” Scannone said.
"This is a person who can play the piano, the trombone and the violin at the same time. I remember one time he was typing up an article, then he went to put a wash on and after that he received someone for spiritual advice. He was able to carry out a spiritual, mechanical and manual task all at the same time and to the highest level. Not everyone possesses these skills. He is very good at cooking, for example. He used to cook one of his favourite dishes is stuffed suckling pig, right here in San Miguel.”
Fr. Scannone then remembered one occasion when Pope Francis’ great altruism really came through. “One day, a priest who had gone to Mar del Plata fell ill and was stuck there. Bergoglio, who was auxiliary bishop at the time, travelled four hundred kilometres to be by his side,
so he was not alone. Do you see? And he was an auxiliary bishop at the time, not a simple parish priest. Here is another example: one day I went to see Cardinal Quarracino, Bergoglio’s predecessor. I went with another priest who is a friend of mine, to ask the cardinal to sign a petition for a project. He signed it and confided this to me: do you know who the best loved auxiliary bishop among the young clerics of Buenos Aires is? Bergoglio! Of course. Because it was the clergy who loved him the most.”
“Bergoglio did a great deal to protect all those who were threatened by the regime and not only. And not just when he was rector of San Miguel,”
the Jesuit stressed. When asked what he thought the Pope’s first moves would be, Fr. Scarrone replied: “I don’t think he will be afraid to introduce some reforms in the Church. But he will not do so suddenly; after all he does have Italian blood in him, he is the son of a Piedmontese family, so he will be very diplomatic, he will be able to introduce reforms, avoiding traumas and conflicts."
Link (here) to The Vatican Insider