Or, another way to look at it, the pope said, is recognize how "you are luckier, with a house, a wife, children" and then ask why should the responsibility to help be pushed onto someone else.

The way one reaches out to the person asking for help is important, he said, and must be done "by looking them in the eyes and touching their hands."

When encountering people who live on the street, the pope said he always greets them and sometimes inquires about their lives and background.

He always chatted with a homeless family and couple that lived next to the archbishop's residence in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he said, and never considered getting rid of them.

When "Someone told me, 'They're making the chancery filthy,' Well, the filth is within" one's heart, he said.

It's important to be sincere because "people who live on the streets understand right away when the other person is really interested" in them as a person or when they just feel pity, he said.

"One can look at a homeless person and see him as a person or else as if he were a dog, and they notice this different way of looking" at them, he said.

When the interviewer asked why the pope thought the poor were capable of changing the world, he said that in his experience in Buenos Aires, he saw more solidarity in the slums than in less poor neighborhoods, where "I encountered more selfishness."

While there are many more problems in the shantytowns, "often the poor are more supportive of each other because they feel they need each other."

Also, he said, problems are more starkly evident in the poor neighborhoods, for example with substance abuse, "you see more drugs, but only because it's more 'covered up' in other neighborhoods" where users are "white-collar" abusers.