He used to own a Harley. He loves football. He knows how to tango. And his Twitter account is followed by 4.57 million people.
These facts alone should be enough testament to the “coolness” of Pope Francis.
But there’s more.
He has attained rock-star status, having landed on the cover of Rolling Stone.
And yes, the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio loves to tango.
“I love tango and I used to dance when I was young,” he told Francesca Ambrogetti and Sergio Rubin, the authors of his 2010 biography El Jesuita. The Pope said he used to tango with his girlfriend.
“She was one of a group of friends I went dancing with. But then I discovered my religious vocation,” he said to Ambrogetti and Rubin.
The pontiff, a former bouncer, also owned a motorcycle, a 2013 model Dyna Super Glide Harley Davidson.
Willie Davidson, a former motorcycle designer and the grandson of a Harley-Davidson founder, gave the 1,584-cc Harley to the Pope a year ago to mark the company’s 110th anniversary.
The Holy Father had it auctioned in February last year for $327,000. The money was donated for a hostel for the homeless in Rome.
Francis, the ruler of the Catholic Church, only has one functioning lung. He had a life-threatening pneumonia when he was 21, which led to the removal of a portion of his lung.
The first Jesuit to be named Pope also loves football, being a passionate fan of San Lorenzo Football Club, his local team, the first Argentine team to win the domestic double in 1972.
In 2013, Time magazine named him Person of the Year.
He is an authentic scholar and a linguist, to boot.
Francis got his master’s degree in chemistry, philosophy and theology from the University of Buenos Aires. Before he became archbishop of Buenos Aires, he had taught philosophy, literature, theology and psychology.
He is fluent in Italian, German and Spanish and knows some English, French and Portuguese.
Back home, the pontiff has a Popemobile but he got a 20-year-old Renault with about 20,000 miles on it which he prefers to the bullet-proof Mercedes mobile, built specifically for his safety.
There have also been reports that the Pope sneaks out of the Vatican at night, garbed in a priest’s robe, to visit the poor and the homeless.
The Pope tweets everyday. His official Twitter page is @Pontifex.