TORONTO, June 5, 2013 ( – On May 14, LifeSiteNews co-founder and managing director Steve Jalsevac did a video interview with Catholic author, professor, theologian and papal biographer George Weigel.  Weigel, best known for his biography of Pope John Paul II, Witness to Hope, revealed his thoughts on Pope Francis having spent an hour with him in May 2012.

“Pope Francis, whom I spent an hour with in Buenos Aires in May of 2012, is a genuine Christian radical,” Weigel said. “And by that I don’t mean somebody out on the far left wing. I mean radical in the sense of its Latin root – ‘root’. This is a man of utter Christian conviction who is determined to be himself, who’s not going to let the system manage him.”

In questioning Weigel, Jalsevac noted Pope Francis “actually took a part in the Rome March for Life, something no other Pope has ever done.”

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Weigel said of Pope Francis: “He is very aware of the threats to life, to human dignity, to marriage and the family throughout the Western world. He was just beginning his battle with the Argentine government on the marriage question when he and I spoke last year in Buenos Aires, so he’s completely lucid on that.”

Asked where he believe Pope Francis would lead the Church, Weigel replied, “I think he’s going to call the people of the Church to radical discipleship. He will continue this theme of Benedict XVI and John Paul II that friendship with Jesus Christ is at the center of the Christian life, and if I may borrow the term from my book, Evangelical Catholicism, he is going to call all the people of the Church to an evangelical missionary vocation, to live out that baptismal responsibility, to hear the Great Commission, and to go out and convert the world. That’s what he is going to be about. It’s terrific!”

See Part 2 
Weigel on Communion for pro-abortion politicians: VIDEO II, Exclusive interview