A popular image going around Facebook claims it to be true. The image was found on the Anti-Theists blog page, currently with 65,000+ followers.

Pope Francis quote

The picture reads,

Women are naturally unfit for political office. Both the natural order and facts show us that the political being par excellence is male; that Scripture shows us that woman has always been the helper of man who thinks and does, but nothing more. - Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio

The sources goes on to say,

This was said in a speech against Argentina presidential candidate Cristina Kirchner given in 2007.

Another one reads much the same,

Spanish Pope Francis quote

"las mujeres son naturalmente ineptas para ejercer cargos políticos", refiriéndose a la candidatura presidencial de la Senadora Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. "El orden natural y los hechos nos enseñan que el hombre es el ser político por excelencia; las Escrituras nos demuestran que la mujer siempre es el apoyo del hombre pensador y hacedor, pero nada más que eso". - Jorge Bergoglio "Francisco I"

  • 3
    Why the cowardly drive-by down-vote? I think the core claim here shouldn't be misogyny, but whether he said the above statement, misogyny being somewhat more difficult to prove. Commented Mar 15, 2013 at 16:03
  • To be honest, this doesn't even really seem to be something that is on topic the way it is currently phrased. I agree with @BrianM.Hunt that focusing on just whether or not the quote itself was made is likely a better approach. Whether or not it is a misogynistic comment should be left to the opinion of the reader.
    – rjzii
    Commented Mar 15, 2013 at 16:46
  • 1
    Fair enough, I think it follows though if the quote is true the pope is misogynistic. To imply that a statement like "women can't do more then help men" is anything but misogynistic, if true, seems rather silly. It's like "black people can't do anything but pick cotton" would be ipso facto evidence of racism if spoken and contextually honest. Commented Mar 15, 2013 at 16:50
  • 5
    @EvanCarroll - I'd argue that it shows evidence of sexism but without a much larger body of evidence you are going to have a hard time proving misogyny. Remember that to be misogynistic you must actively hate women, merely thinking that they are as women are unfit for political office, while sexist, doesn't necessarily prove that someone hates an entire group of people.
    – rjzii
    Commented Mar 15, 2013 at 17:07

2 Answers 2


These statements were not made by Cardinal Bergoglio.

A Spanish-speaking blogger identified this hoax. (via, English version)

The quote above begins with: “Women are naturally inept to exercise political office..the order of nature and human activity teach us that a man is superior in the realm of politics…” [...] the quote was invented out of thin air and posted in a “Yahoo Answers” by an Argentinian who went by the name “Bumper Crop” and who at the time did not cite a link because the entire phrase was posted to smear Cardinal Bergoglio and make him look like he was attacking Cristina Kirchner.

In addition, the phrase completely contradicts Bergoglio known friendship and admiration for various Argentine women who have held political office and who were congratulated by him upon election.

Furthermore, these statements contradict Catholic teaching that "women have the same right as men to perform various public functions" (John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, par. 23)

  • 11
    +1 but would remove the last sentence/statement. Just because an idea opposes a papal decree doesn't mean a cardinal (now pope) can't harbour or express it. Remember that before John Paul II a lot of things were radically different in the RC church and there is still strong resentment by many in the clergy about some of those changes.
    – jwenting
    Commented Mar 19, 2013 at 12:00

Snopes just did this, they found it to be FALSE.

"This quote about Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio's stating that "Women are naturally unfit for political office" was circulated in the immediate aftermath of his selection as pope in March 2013 and was supposedly voiced by him in 2007 in reference to Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's successful candidacy for the presidency of Argentina that year. However, no documentation or reference for this quote antedating March 2013 has been found other than a single source of dubious veracity, as noted in an article denouncing the statement as an "urban legend" on Foros Perú" - Snopes

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