Pope Francis has revealed that he has not watched television for 25 years – not even the matches played by his beloved Buenos Aires football team, after promising the Virgin Mary he wouldn’t.
The South American pontiff said he last switched on a TV in 1990 in an interview on Monday with an Argentinian newspaper.
To find out whether his team, San Lorenzo, win or lose, he has to ask the Swiss Guards, his personal protection force and the Vatican’s tiny army, who draw up a table of results for him each week.
The Pope also revealed that he reads only one newspaper – the Italian left-of-centre daily La Repubblica.
Asked what he most missed about his old life, he cited the freedom to walk out into the streets and go to a pizzeria.
The Argentinian newspaper suggested that he simply order in a pizza to eat in the Vatican.
“Yes, but it’s not the same. The nice thing is to go to there, to the pizzeria,” he said.
“I’ve always been a keen walker. When I was a cardinal [in Buenos Aires] I used to love walking the streets”.
Asked if he was able to sleep soundly, despite the burden of being the spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church, he said: “I sleep very deeply”.
He goes to bed at around 9pm, reads for about an hour, and then sleeps from 10pm until 4am, when he gets up.
“It’s my biological clock,” he said, although he admitted that he has to compensate for such an early start with a siesta during the day of 40 minutes to an hour.
“I take off my shoes and I lie on my bed for a rest,” he said.