FÁTIMA PAZ ALFARO/CAPITAL MEDIA
Alberto Suárez Inda resigned as archbishop after turning 75 in January 2014. In May 2014, before the Vatican approved the resignation, he met another jesuit in Rome, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who said to him, “I heard that you want to escape us and I ask you to endure.”
After that, the two formed a connection and many people consider the Cardinal of Morelia to be friends with Pope Francis.
CAPITAL MEDIA wanted to confirm this relationship with Suárez Inda, who agreed to answer questions about his friendship with the pope.
This is the conversation: “I met the pope in May 2014 on a trip that all Mexican bishops take every few years to report information from our dioceses.
The bishops of Michoacán and Guerrero had a meeting. We talked for an hour and a half and the pope was very interested in our history, values, culture and the current problems of our country,” Suárez Inda said.
At first, the meetings were brief, the cardinal remembered. The brevity was made up for by his “trusting and caring attitude.
They were brief and fleeting moments, but very cordial,” added Suárez Inda.
They say that the way of God is unyielding and leaves little room for coincidences.
The moments that the cardinal and pope share show an interior friendship within the Society of Jesus, with a vision in common that favors the creation of connections between the leaders of the Archdiocese of Morelia and the Holy See. “There has always been an attitude of closeness and unbreakable loyalty, but now there are also aspects of humanness, coincidence and similarity.
Beyond the public figure that is today Pope Francis, exists a man capable of enjoying life’s daily pleasures, capable of overcoming exhaustion and illness to fulfill his mission.
“At his age of 79, God had granted him surprising strength, because he can’t exert himself as much anymore. When he walks, he needs to catch his breath. He has other ailments. He’s not exactly an athlete, however he has demonstrated that the grace of God helps him to bear the weight of such an immense task of being the most important person in the Catholic Church in the whole world,” said Suárez Inda.
As an Argentinian, he enjoys dulce de leche, drinks mate frequently, eats light and rests enough to re-energize himself. But the simpleness of his everyday life does not prevent him from demonstrating a physical and spiritual strength. This is evident in the intense physical activity that he partakes in at his 79 years of age (56 of which he survived with one and a quarter of his lungs) and in his ability to take on the responsibility of the representative of the Catholic Church for the whole world.
So, Jorge Mario Bergoglio is, in the words of Cardinal Alberto Suárez Inda, a free spirit who takes pleasure in candy. And this frugality extrapolates his personality, which is dominated by simplicity and independence.