Pope Francis. File picture: Stefano Rellandini

London -

He has told of going salsa dancing with a girlfriend when he was 17.

Now Pope Francis has confessed to falling in love with a girl he met while training to be a priest.

The pontiff – then aged 22 or 23 – had to seek redemption in the confession booth, he has revealed.

In an interview to celebrate his first year in the Catholic church’s top job, Francis revealed that “there was a girl that turned my head for a week when I was at the seminary”.

However, his vocation to the priesthood was too strong.

On a night out with friends in Buenos Aires, the youngster stopped to go to confession when his decision to join the priesthood came upon him.

And in the interview with an Italian newspaper, Francis appeared to pave the way for his own retirement, saying that although his predecessor Benedict was the first to retire in 600 years, “perhaps there will be others”. - Daily Mail