The new leader of the Catholic Church is a man of simple, austere habits. Father Guillermo Marcó, President of Fundación Pastoral Universitaria San Lucas and Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s spokesman from 1998 to 2006, says for the past 14 years as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, his daily routine remained unchanged. Father Marcó explains Cardinal Bergoglio would wake up around 4.30 or 5 a.m. and then conduct his morning prayers. By 7 a.m., after having a light breakfast, he would read the papers. Then, until 8 a.m., he would remain close to a landline telephone.
Every priest in town knew that phone’s number, and every one of them knew that they could call every morning between 7 and 8 if they had any problem. The Cardinal himself would pick up the phone. Not any secretary, not any clerical adjutant, but Archbishop Bergoglio. He would listen to their complaints and their requests and he would jot down his observations in a small pocket-book with a small, almost microscopic handwriting. Only then he would walk down to his office, just a few steps away.
“Up until five days ago, this was his daily routine,” says Father Marcó.