Jim Gardner in Argentina: Pastor assigned by Francis speaks of his ethics

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015
VIDEO: Pastor appointed by Pope speaks
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The church's pastor, Father Martin Duran, was appointed to his post by Cardinal Bergoglio, and of course, he knows the Bergoglio ethic.

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (WPVI) -- It is Sunday morning in Buenos Aires and at St. Frances of Cabrini Church, worshipers arrive for Mass.

We've decided to visit this church for several reasons.

First, because then-Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio - now known as Pope Francis - came here to celebrate the 40th anniversary of this church.

Second, because Frances Cabrini was the first citizen of the United States to be canonized a saint and, of course, a college that bears her name is located in Radnor, Delaware County.

Third, because the church's pastor, Father Martin Duran, was appointed to his post by Cardinal Bergoglio, and he knows the Bergoglio ethic.

"The time he dedicated to going to those places where he get in contact with people who are excluded from society, poor neighborhoods, hospitals, prisons, those places, get in touch with people who perhaps do not come, but have an open heart to receive Christ's message," Duran said.

After Mass, we met Maria Martha. She grew up across the street from the Pope's childhood home.

In fact, her aunt was Bergoglio's babysitter when the future pope was a toddler.

Bergoglio officiated at Maria's wedding and baptized her children.

She told me that when she lost her parents, she turned to her lifelong priest as a father figure.

Maria is proud that Bergoglio is pope, but she can't hold back the tears when she thinks how she has lost him to the Vatican and to the world.

The story of Bergoglio's own revelation is legend in the Buenos Aires neighborhood where he spent his youth and it happened right here inside this church.

On September 21, 1953, the first day of spring in Argentina, Bergoglio left his friends outside and walked into a church, the San Jose de Flores Church. He did not know why he came in there - it was a matter of impulse.

But he did find himself walking towards a certain confessional and he took confession.

Afterwards, he said that he had felt the presence of God and that was the moment he decided to devote the rest of his life to God's work.