Cuban cardinal reveals Bergoglio's remarks prior to conclave

Havana, Mar 26 (EFE).- Cuba's Catholic primate, Jaime Ortega, made public in Havana a manuscript with remarks made by Jorge Bergoglio about the mission of the church in a session before the conclave that elected him pope.

The manuscript was presented "exclusively" to Cardinal Ortega by Bergoglio before the Argentine prelate became Pope Francis I, and the thinking it contains "could have guided the selection of the cardinals" on March 13, Cuban Catholic Church magazine Palabra Nueva said Tuesday.

The Havana archbishop asked Bergoglio for a copy of his speech at the general gathering of cardinals prior to the conclave to preserve it "since it coincides" with his own thinking about the Church.

Bergoglio initially told Ortega that he did not have a copy of his remarks but the next day he delivered to the Cuban cardinal his own handwritten text and gave him the OK to distribute it.

Palabra Nueva says that in a later meeting in The Vatican between the Cuban cardinal and Pope Francis I, the pontiff "verified his authorization for the dissemination of the text."

The manuscript, which can be read on Palabra Nueva's Web site, says that preaching the Gospel "is the Church's raison d'etre."

Regarding the characteristics that the new pontiff should have, Bergoglio said that he should be "a man who, from the contemplation of Jesus Christ and from the adoration of Jesus Christ, helps the Church to move outside itself to the existential peripheries."

"When the Church does not move outside itself to preach the Gospel it becomes self-referential, a kind of theological narcissism," he said.

"This should shed light on the possible changes and reforms that need to be made for the salvation of souls," Bergoglio added.