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Pope Francis may have a knack for plenty of things, but polite chatting about television isn’t one of them. Apparently, the Pope hasn’t watched an episode of television in decades, and he recently spoke out about the lack of TV in his life in an interview. Here’s how long it has been since he turned on the tube:
I have not watched TV since 1990. It's a promise that I made the Virgin of Carmen on the night of 15 July 1990. I told myself: 'It's not for me'.
The Pope revealed the news to the Argentinian newspaper La Voz del Pueblo, which was later translated by the Independent. The outlet also notes the pope is a man with few surface needs. He’s a man who previously stated he hasn’t been on vacation since the mid-nineties, taking a holiday way back in 1994. He also avoids the internet. But it was even earlier that he told the Virgin Mary he would sacrifice television, simply because he didn’t need it in his life.
The last time that Pope Francis watched television, The Simpsons and Seinfeld were in their infancy. Law and Order had just started its lengthy run on NBC, and the Fresh Prince was busy heading to his auntie and uncle’s in Bel-Air. The original The Flash series was airing, at least for a short-lived amount of time. Being a high-end clergyman is a busy gig, but it would be easy to throw in a little TV every now and again if it was something Pope Francis really enjoyed. After all, if President Obama has time for a little TV every now and again, Pope Francis could, too.
In the time since the Pope stopped watching television, he’s missed numerous programs flying by. He never saw the boom of reality television and then the beginning of its downfall. He wasn’t around for soap operas to begin being replaced by other sorts of daytime programs. He missed Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and all of the Fashion Police controversy. In some ways, he didn’t miss much. In other ways, he has, missing the dawn of the second golden age of television, the birth of Netflix and more.
The Pope isn’t totally cloistered away from any semblance of culture, however. While his life is devoted to work and he says he is very busy, he does spend 10 minutes a day reading the newspaper. And he reveals that he does continue to follow soccer, keeping tabs on the Argentine team San Lorenzo. He has plenty to do, but if you ever get the chance to meet him, just don’t ask him what he thinks of the ending to The Sopranos.