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Francis begins first day as new pope

Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 01:16

Newly-elected Pope Francis arrives at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in central Rome for private prayer on his first day as head of the Roman Catholic Church. Travis Brecher reports.

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Pope Francis' motorcade arrives at Rome's Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica on Thursday morning for a private prayer - the beginning of his first day as head of the Roman Catholic Church. The first South American pope - and the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years - Francis was due to meet with Pope Emeritus Benedict at the papal summer residence, and was set to celebrate mass with cardinals in the late afternoon. His elevation on the second day of a closed-door conclave of cardinals came as a surprise, with many expecting a longer deliberation and few predicting the conservative 76-year-old would get the nod. Faithfuls gathered outside the Basilica only had good words about their new leader. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ROME RESIDENT TERESA SAYING: "Yesterday he transmitted such humility, love and brotherhood. He gave all me, to all of us, great hope and faith." Francis, who hails from Argentina, is a strict conservative, and staunchly opposes abortion, birth control and gay marriage.

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Francis begins first day as new pope

Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 01:16