Over the Bridge to Ecuador

"One of the first reasons [I chose the name] was Francis' love for the poor," he explained. "How many poor people there still are in the world! An what great suffering they have to endure!" ...

Pope Francis spoke of his role as Pontiff, that is "bridge-builder," saying that he wants dialogue that will help all peoples to see in others "a brother or sister to be welcomed and embraced."

"My own origins impel me to work for the building of bridges. As you know, my family is of Italian origin; and so this dialogue between places and cultures a great distance apart matters greatly to me, this dialogue between one end of the world and the other...It is not possible to build bridges between people while forgetting God. But the converse is also true: it is not possible to establish true links with God, while ignoring other people... Fighting poverty, both material and spiritual, building peace and constructing bridges: these, as it were, are the reference points for a journey that I want to invite each of the countries here represented to take up." - ZENIT News Agency, 3/23/13