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Pope Francis makes good first impression on U.S. Catholics - poll

By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - Pope Francis, formally installed on Tuesday as head of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, has made a good impression so far in the United States among Catholics and non-Catholics, though few Americans knew much about him, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed. Of those who are aware of the new pope, 85 percent of all U.S. adults surveyed had a favourable view of him, including 94 percent of Catholics, according to the poll. ( http://link.reuters.com/pyn76t )

Pope's gentle message dodges hot button issues

With an inaugural homily urging respect for "God's creation", Pope Francis on Tuesday subtly pressed a conservative Catholic message while urgent challenges loom for the Church. The first Latin American pope has been heralded by supporters as a progressive, but scholars say he is unlikely to bend on Church doctrine -- and key moral issues were glaringly absent from his speech.

Joy in Buenos Aires as Argentine pope inaugurated

After waiting all night, a vast crowd in Buenos Aires erupted in joyful cries of "Long Live the Pope!" as the new Argentine pontiff on Tuesday received the symbols of papal power. The well-wishers got an unexpected treat when Pope Francis delivered a special message in Spanish to his countrymen in Buenos Aires. Before his inauguration mass at the Vatican, he asked Argentines to keep him in their thought and prayers.

New pope's simple style shifts tone from Benedict's papacy

By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - With every day Pope Francis reigns, his style reveals more contrasts with his predecessor Benedict in ways that amount to an unspoken criticism of how the retired pontiff conducted his papacy. The enthusiasm former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio has sparked among Catholics by approaching the job like a parish priest rather than a papal monarch points to a yearning for a leader the Church has not seen since the charismatic Pope John Paul II.

Pope Francis: Voice of poor, defender of orthodoxy

Pope Francis, wearing the mantle of a humble advocate for the poor while defending Catholic orthodoxy, rose from modest beginnings to become the first Latin American leader of the 1.2 billion-strong Church. The former archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, has already won hearts in his first days as pontiff with a disarmingly informal style, choosing simple vestments and preferring to walk instead of ride in a limo.

Pope makes surprise phone call home to well-wishers in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Pope Francis surprised crowds of Catholic faithful who waited through the night for his inaugural Mass with a telephone call from the Vatican to the cathedral in Buenos Aires where he used to be archbishop. Latin America's first pope inaugurated his papacy on Tuesday with an address to an estimated 200,000 in St. Peter's Square in Rome, calling for the defence of the weakest in society and of the environment.

Pope Francis set for grandiose inauguration mass

World leaders flew in for Pope Francis's inauguration mass in St Peter's Square on Tuesday where Latin America's first pontiff will receive the formal symbols of papal power. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend the mass laden with rituals and spectacular imagery, which will begin with a tour of the famous Vatican plaza by the Argentine pope after his election last week.

New pope's style an implicit criticism of Benedict's papacy

By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - With every day Pope Francis reigns, his style reveals more contrasts with his predecessor Benedict in ways that amount to an unspoken criticism of how the retired pontiff conducted his papacy. The enthusiasm former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio has ignited among Catholics by approaching the job like a parish priest rather than a papal monarch points to a yearning for a leader the Church has not seen since the charismatic Pope John Paul II.

Argentina's Fernandez asks Pope to intervene over Falklands

By Gavin Jones ROME (Reuters) - Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez has asked Pope Francis to intervene in support of Buenos Aires in a dispute with Britain over the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic. Fernandez had lunch with the former Buenos Aires Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio in the Vatican shortly after arriving in Rome to attend his inaugural papal mass on Tuesday.

Papal inaugural Mass will straddle religion and politics

By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican was preparing for a huge crowd for Pope Francis's inaugural Mass on Tuesday, an event straddling religion and politics that will bring together European royalty, heads of state and world spiritual leaders. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to cram St. Peter's Square and surrounding streets for the Mass to formally install Francis as the new leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.
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