His Holiness Pope Francis encouraged leaders to be humble and show compassion in the recorded TED Talk

By Char Adams
April 26, 2017 10:07 AM

Pope Francis promoted humility and warned of the dangers of too much power in a sobering TED Talk delivered straight from Vatican City.

In his recorded TED Talk shown on Tuesday at TED’s international conference in Vancouver, the 80-year-old spoke out about compassion and caring for others, but also used the opportunity to warn arrogant leaders.

“Please, allow me to say it loud and clear,” he began. “The more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsible you are to act humbly. If you don’t, your power will ruin you, and you will ruin the other.”


The remarks come about a week after White House press secretary Sean Spicer said at a press briefing that Donald Trump would “be honored” to meet the Pope. Although the president and the pontiff haven’t seen eye to eye in the past, Archbishop Angelo Becciu told the Italian news agency ANSA that “Pope Francis is always ready to receive heads of state who request an audience.”

The Pope drew on his own family’s circumstances when encouraging listeners to care for the needy. He said he often wonders how his grandparents, migrants from Italy who moved to Argentina, would have done in today’s “culture of waste.”

“I could have very well ended up among today’s ‘discarded’ people. And that’s why I always ask myself, deep in my heart: ‘Why them and not me?’ ” he said.

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It took more than a year for TED officials to convince the Pope to participate in the conference, CNN reports. And Bruno Giussani, the TED international curator who organized the Pope’s talk, hailed His Holiness as the “only moral voice” capable of reaching people across boundaries.

In his nearly 18-minute address, the Pope declared: “A single individual is enough for hope to exist, and that individual can be you. And then there will be another ‘you,’ and another ‘you,’ and it turns into an ‘us.’ And so, does hope begin when we have an ‘us?’ No. Hope began with one ‘you.’ When there is an ‘us,’ there begins a revolution.”