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Pope Calls for "Church for the Poor"

Newly elected Pope Francis says he would like a "church for the poor," in the first indication of the kind of Roman Catholic church he wants to lead.

The pope made the remark to hundreds of journalists in Vatican City Saturday, his third day as head of the church after he was elected to replace Benedict, who is now emeritus pope. Pope Francis' comment was interpreted to mean a church that is more humble, like the poor, not one that is poor financially.

The 76-year-old pontiff also explained why he chose the name Francis.

He said as the vote counting indicated he was close to being elected pope Wednesday, his friend and fellow-Cardinal Claudio Hummes of Brazil told him not to forget the poor. The new pope said that made him think of St. Francis of Assisi, the legendary champion of the poor and a symbol of peace and austerity.

Pope Francis, a native of Argentina and the first Latin American pope, is known for his humility. On the night he was elected, he shunned the papal limousine and traveled on a bus with the cardinals. He later stopped by a Vatican hotel to pick up his belongings and paid the bill.



On Saturday, Pope Francis did not address the controversies facing the church, such as the cases of child sexual abuse committed by priests or the alleged corruption within the Vatican bureaucracy.

He will appear on Sunday at the window of the papal apartment to recite the Angelus prayer, with crowds of worshipers in St. Peter's Square below.

His formal instalation on Tuesday will be attended by foreign delegations, including one from the U.S. led by Vice President Joe Biden, who is Catholic.
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