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Pope Francis Already Inspiring Catholics

Pope Francis Already Inspiring Catholicsi
March 15, 2013 1:38 AM
Pope Francis has spent his first full day as leader of the Roman Catholic Church, showing the same humility that has been winning praise from believers the world over. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Pope Francis Already Inspiring Catholics
Pope Francis has spent his first full day as leader of the Roman Catholic Church, showing the same humility that has been winning praise from believers the world over.  VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.

The pontiff celebrated Mass at the Sistine Chapel, with the cardinals who elected him.

"Walk, our life is a journey, and when we stop the thing doesn't work. Let's walk, always, in the presence of the Lord, in the light of the Lord, trying to live with the same irreproachable attitude that God asks Abraham in his promise," he said.

His day began with prayers at a church in Rome, followed by handshakes with priests and thrilled church-goers.

VOA's Celia Mendoza, in Vatican City, says there was also less glamorous business to take care of.

"He asked the guards to take him back to the hotel where he had been staying because he had all his luggage there, and he wanted to pay the bill," Mendoza said.

Through it all, Pope Francis was dressed simply - by design.

"His vestments were very simple, without the famous 'mozzetta', the red cape. The cross he is wearing is the same he had before as a bishop, very simple, and then the things he said and did do not need to be repeated. We were impressed by this pastoral approach," said Father Frederico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman.

Also on his schedule, a visit with his predecessor, Benedict. "I think it is extremely significant that he is visiting Pope Emeritus Benedict because it shows his great humility.  It shows the respect and esteem with which we all hold Benedict," said Kim Daniels, director of Catholic Voices.

In Argentina, where Pope Francis served as archbishop, many Catholics awoke with high hopes."I think he is going to be more open and very close to those in need, to the poor. And I hope he has the necessary strength because it's very important," said Andrea Giudici.

In Nigeria, Hannatu Uche said she couldn't be happier. "We are all happy, right from last night that the announcement was made, we are very grateful to God that there was no crisis, no problem and the election was made.  To God be the glory," she said.

A humble day for a pope soon to face major challenges.

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters and is national security correspondent. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

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Comment Sorting
by: NVO from: WAKE UP WORLD!
March 15, 2013 12:53 AM
Jesus does indeed predict a “vicar” in the sense of a “replacement” for His physical presence here on earth. However, this “vicar of Christ” is not a priest, high priest, bishop, or pope. The only biblical “Vicar of Christ” is the Holy Spirit. John 14:26 declares, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:16-18 proclaims, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever — the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” The Holy Spirit is Christ’s “replacement” on the earth. The Holy Spirit is our Counselor, Teacher (John 14:26), and guide into all truth (John 16:13).

In claiming that the pope is the “Vicar of Christ,” the Catholic Church rejects the sufficiency and supremacy of Christ’s priesthood, and grants to the pope roles that Christ Himself declared would belong to the Holy Spirit. It is therefore blasphemy to ascribe to the pope the title of “Vicar of Christ.”

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