There’s little doubt Pope Francis has brought some fresh air to the papacy, using a simple, plain-spoken style to recast the Vatican’s views on gays, divorce and women.
He’s also brought a wicked sense of humor.
Ecuador President Rafael Correa on Tuesday tweeted that Pope Francis told him a joke during a meeting that poked fun at his fellow Argentines, who have a reputation in Latin America as being arrogant and haughty.
“He told me a joke. He said everyone was surprised that he chose to call himself 'Francis' because being Argentine, ‘people thought I would call myself Jesus II’.”
Correa quickly followed with another tweet to say he wasn’t dissing Argentines, just relaying what the pope had told him.
“A big hug to Argentina, and apologies for the joke, but it was from the Pope himself!”
It’s not the first time Pope Francis has shown flashes of self-deprecating humor.
Last month, after he upset some Mexicans by likening drug trafficking in Argentina to the “Mexicanization” of his home country, he sat down for an interview with Mexican television to clear the air.
He half-jokingly told the interviewer that Argentines are “not humble.” He then told her a joke: “Do you know how an Argentine kills himself?” When the reporter responded no, he said, “He climbs to the top of his ego and then jumps off.”