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Pope Francis greets pilgrims ahead of inaugural Mass

Monday, March 18, 2013 - 01:26

Mar. 18 - Pope Francis arrives in St. Peter's Square, as world leaders and pilgrims gather for his inaugural Mass. Sarah Sheffer reports.

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Pope Francis makes his way through a crowd of thousands of pilgrims, to celebrate his inaugural mass. The new pope's outgoing nature and sense of humour differ notably from the much more formal Benedict, who last month became the first pope in 600 years to resign. In another sign of the informality, Francis abandoned the bullet-proof popemobile frequently used by his predecessor. Vatican-watchers expect Pope Francis to send further signals of change by using a simpler liturgy than the retired Benedict, who preferred a more Baroque style. Up to one million people are expected to join the celebration in St. Peter's square, including religious and political leaders from around the world. Maureen Ferguson, a senior policy advisor to the Catholic Association of America, said she was very positive about the new papacy. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SENIOR POLICY ADVISOR, THE CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION, MAUREEN FERGUSON, SAYING: "I think Pope Francis is going to be a great thing for the church. You know, every pope has their own personality. John Paul II led the church with his rockstar personality, Benedict with his incredible intellect and I think Pope Francis is going to lead the church with his pastor's heart." The two-hour Mass will formally install Francis as pope of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.

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Pope Francis greets pilgrims ahead of inaugural Mass

Monday, March 18, 2013 - 01:26