VATICAN CITY (AP) – If the name you chose to remember the poor saint Francis of Assisi and was a statement of intent, Pope Francisco on Thursday began his pontificate with atypical of simple gestures, like stopping at your hotel in Rome collect the bags and pay the bill out of pocket.
The first Jesuit priest and Latin American history, and former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, began the day with a stop at the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major to pray before the image of the Virgin. He did not use the Popemobile and moved into a private car of the Vatican without too much noise.
The Holy See reported that Francisco would not visit his predecessor Benedict XVI on Thursday, had said some cardinals _As Eve-and that would probably not Friday.
The Vatican said the unprecedented encounter between two living popes would take place in the coming days.
Asked if his native Argentina could be the first visit of Francis, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said “hopefully visit Argentina”, but did not say whether it will be the first destination before travel to or if some other country Europe.
In principle, Francisco chair the World Youth Day held in July in Brazil and could take the opportunity to visit other countries in the region as the first Latin American pope.
Later, Francisco officiate his first Mass as pope to the cardinals. As is tradition, the homily is expected to mark the strategic lines of a pontificate which is considered vital for the Catholic Church, mired in various scandals and a growing crisis faithful loss in parts of the world.
Everything indicates that the homily is pronounced in Italian rather than Latin, as did Benedict XVI.
Francisco, 76, was elected on Wednesday in five votes and only two days of conclave. The 115 cardinal electors shattered the pools, exceeded their theoretical divisions faster than expected and finally bowed by the Jesuit Church recognized by modernize Argentina.
In his first words to the 100,000 people cheering in the square of San Pedro, Francisco asked the faithful to pray for him and, in an unprecedented move, asked the blessing of the people and bent in submission.
Francisco is not the first pope-speaking: in the past there were Spanish as Alexander VI in the fifteenth century, whose family name was Borja or Borgia in its Italian form.
But choosing the Argentine scored a major milestone for Latin America, bringing together the world’s largest Catholic population: 501 million people, 42% of the total of 1,200 million adherents, according to statistics from the Holy See.
“I am delighted that it has been chosen a Latin American. We had hopes that in Africa where he lives most of the Catholics, “said Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told a news conference.