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Pope Francis has stunned the owners of a Buenos Aires newspaper kiosk, by phoning directly to cancel his order.

Luis Del Regno and his son Daniel delivered papers to former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s residence every weekday.

Daniel Del Regno said he thought it was a prank when a caller earlier this week introduced himself as “Cardinal Jorge”.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the first Latin American Pope when he was elected on March 13 after the shock resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

He chose the name Francis in honor of Francis of Assisi – the 13th century Italian saint who spurned a life of luxury to work with the poor.

Each Sunday, the archbishop of Buenos Aires would come and pick up the paper himself at 05:30 before catching a bus to distribute tea to sick people in the suburb of Lugano, said Luis Del Regno.

When Daniel Del Regno answered the phone on Monday, he could not believe it was the newly-elected Pope, the Catholic News Agency reported.

“Seriously, it’s Jorge Bergoglio, I’m calling you from Rome,” Pope Francis had told Daniel Del Regno.

“I was in shock, I broke down in tears and didn’t know what to say,” Daniel Del Regno told Argentine daily La Nacion.

“He thanked me for delivering the paper all this time and sent best wishes to my family.”

“I asked him if there would ever be the chance to see him here again. He said that for the time being that would be very difficult, but that he would always be with us.”

Pope Francis has stunned the owners of a Buenos Aires newspaper kiosk, by phoning directly to cancel his order

Pope Francis has stunned the owners of a Buenos Aires newspaper kiosk, by phoning directly to cancel his order

Daniel Del Regno said he had asked Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio before he left for Rome if he thought he would be elected in the secret conclave.

“He answered me: <<That is too hot to touch. See you in 20 days, keep delivering the paper>>. And the rest is, well, history,” he said.

The former cardinal had booked a return ticket to Buenos Aires where he was expecting to lead Easter services next weekend.

Instead, as Pope Francis, will celebrate Mass on Holy Thursday in St Peter’s Basilica, and will wash the feet of prisoners in a youth detention centre in Rome, continuing a pre-Easter practice he began while archbishop of Buenos Aires.

Normally feet-washing Masses before Easter are held in the Vatican or a Rome basilica.

Luis Del Regno said he had “thousands of stories” about the new Pope, including the fact that he used to collect all the rubber bands that were wrapped around his newspapers.

“At the end of the month, he always brought them back to me,” said Luis Del Regno.

“All 30 of them!”

Pope Francis has already stamped his humble style on the papacy – spurning a special car to take a bus with his cardinals after he was elected, and insisting on returning to his Rome hotel the next day to pay his own bill.

The new Pope has called for the Roman Catholic Church to be closer to ordinary people, especially the poor and disadvantaged.

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Pope Francis is the 266th and current pope of the Roman Catholic Church, elected on 13 March 2013. As such, he is both head of the Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State.

The duties of the 266th successor to the throne of Saint Peter are wide-ranging.

The Pope’s regular Vatican appointments are:

  • a weekly blessing for tourists and pilgrims every Sunday from the window of his private study overlooking Saint Peter’s Square
  • a weekly general audience for some 5,000 pilgrims in a modern audience hall in winter and in the open air in Saint Peter’s Square in summer.

The Pope normally presides over religious celebrations of all the major church festivals of the year inside Saint Peter’s, including Christmas and Easter, when he also appears on the same balcony where he was proclaimed pope after his election to deliver his “Urbi Et Orbi” message to the city of Rome and to the world.

Past popes have celebrated Mass every morning in their private chapel before settling down at their desk to deal with correspondence.

The Pope has a small personal staff of nuns to run his household, to cook and clean, and a personal valet or butler. Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II both had two personal secretaries. He also has a team of speechwriters.

While Pope Emeritus Benedict lived a secluded life inside the Vatican (and plans to live an even more secluded existence in the former convent which is being prepared as his new home in a corner of the Vatican Gardens), Pope John Paul II lived a more gregarious existence, often inviting personal guests to attend his early morning mass and to share his breakfast. He also gave frequent lunch and dinner parties for visiting clergy and friends.

One of the duties of a pope is to meet at least once every five years with his more than 5,000 bishops from around the world – roughly 1,000 a year, or 20 a week.

Under church law they are obliged to visit Rome to report to the Pope on the state of their dioceses in what is called an “ad limina” (on the threshold of Saint Peter) visit. Pope Benedict XVI had just finished this exhaustive series of interviews with every Catholic bishop in the world, and was embarking on a second round just before his retirement.

Foreign travel is also, these days, among the Pope’s duties.

Pope Francis is the 266th and current pope of the Roman Catholic Church

Pope Francis is the 266th and current pope of the Roman Catholic Church

In contrast to the 19th Century Pope Pius IX and his immediate successors, Pope Francis is unlikely ever voluntarily to confine himself to his micro-state.

Pope Pius’ pontificate lasted for 32 years, the longest of all time. Although he was forced to leave Rome and seek temporary refuge at nearby Gaeta when revolution broke out in Rome in 1848, he angrily declared himself a “prisoner in the Vatican” when forced militarily to forfeit his temporal rule over the former papal states of central Italy after Italy became a unified state in 1870. He remained inside the walls of the Vatican until he died.

Pope Francis has already made several sorties into Rome in an unmarked car and is likely to continue the regular worldwide and Italian travels of his immediate predecessors. His first foreign visit is expected to be to his home country Argentina, and also to Brazil for a Catholic youth festival in Rio De Janeiro in July.

His first visit inside Italy could be to Assisi, the birthplace of the much loved patron saint of Italy, Saint Francis, by whose name the new Pope chose to be called.

The Pope also receives many visitors.

Traditional papal protocol is complicated and serves to isolate the Pope except when he officiates at these public ceremonies.

The Apostolic Palace, a fine Renaissance building next to Saint Peter’s Basilica, has suites of official reception rooms on its second floor, below the papal apartments. Here the Pope receives heads of state and official guests in his private library – groups of visitors range in size from four or five, to several hundred at a time.

Popes traditionally live in the spacious apartment reserved for their use on the top floor of the Apostolic Palace. This may not suit the new Pope who, as absolute monarch, is free to live where he will. When appointed archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis refused to live in the archbishop’s palace, preferring more simple accommodation.

Up to now Pope Francis has chosen to work from a hotel room inside Vatican City, rather than move directly into his palatial official quarters, which he finds excessively large.

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Pope Francis will wash the feet of prisoners in a youth detention centre in Rome while he will celebrate Mass on Holy Thursday, the Vatican has said.

The Vatican says the pontiff is continuing a pre-Easter practice that began when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires.

Normally feet-washing Masses before Easter are held in the Vatican or a Rome basilica.

However, Pope Benedict XVI held a feet-washing Mass at the same Casal del Marmo youth detention centre in Rome in 2007.

Pope Francis will stage his feet-washing ceremony at Casal del Marmo on the afternoon of March 28.

The washing of feet on the Thursday before Easter is a Christian tradition dating back to the time of Christ.

Pope Francis will wash the feet of prisoners in a youth detention centre in Rome while he will celebrate Mass on Holy Thursday

Pope Francis will wash the feet of prisoners in a youth detention centre in Rome while he will celebrate Mass on Holy Thursday

During the service, the pontiff washes and kisses the feet of 12 people to replicate the Bible’s account of Jesus Christ’s gesture of humility towards his 12 apostles on the night before he was crucified.

“With this celebration at Casal del Marmo, Pope Francis will continue this custom, which is characterized by its humble context,” a statement by the Vatican said.

It said that Pope Francis would also celebrate Mass earlier on Holy Thursday in St Peter’s Basilica.

Pope Francis has called for the Roman Catholic Church to be closer to ordinary people, especially the poor and disadvantaged.

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Pope Francis I inauguration Mass is being held in St Peter’s Square in Rome, marking the official start of his papacy.

Pope Francis first toured the square in an open-topped vehicle, descending to bless pilgrims behind the barriers.

Up to a million people, along with global political and religious leaders, are attending the Mass.

Pope Francis was elected by a conclave of cardinals last week to take over from Benedict XVI.

Pope Benedict XVI became the first pontiff in 600 years to abdicate last month. Citing his age, 85, he said he could no longer continue in the post.

The first pontiff from the Americas, Francis has suggested he will take a more modest approach than predecessors.

Pope Francis, formerly Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, left his temporary residence at Casa Santa Marta shortly before 09:00 and began touring St Peter’s Square.

The pontiff waved to the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, who flew flags and shouted: “Long live the Pope!”

Pope Francis I inauguration Mass is being held in St Peter's Square in Rome, marking the official start of his papacy

Pope Francis I inauguration Mass is being held in St Peter’s Square in Rome, marking the official start of his papacy

Pope Francis then entered St Peter’s Basilica and donned his vestments.One of the Pope’s first duties was to go down to the tomb of St Peter to venerate it.

Pope Francis was then presented with his papal pallium made of lambs’ wool – symbolizing his role as shepherd of his flock – in the main square.

He also received the “fisherman’s ring” bearing the image of St Peter holding two keys. The ring is second hand and is made of silver-plated gold, not the solid gold worn by Francis’ predecessor.

With the reception of the pallium and ring, Francis officially began his office as the 266th pope.

The Pope then received the obedience of the cardinals, and the Mass formally began.

Pope Francis then delivered his homily, in Italian.

It began by focusing on Joseph and his role as protector – of Mary, Jesus and the Church.

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Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner announces she has asked for Pope Francis’ intervention in the Falklands dispute between her country and the UK.

Visiting the Vatican, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said she had asked Pope Francis to promote dialogue between the two sides.

Argentine Pope Francis was elected last week and will be formally installed as pontiff at a Mass on Tuesday.

In the past Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio has said the Falkland Islands, a UK overseas territory, belong to Argentina.

Before being elected as the new pontiff, the 76-year-old was Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Relations between him, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, and her late husband and predecessor as president, Nestor Kirchner, were tense.

“I asked for his intervention to avoid problems that could emerge from the militarization of Great Britain in the south Atlantic,” Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner told reporters after a 15-20 minute meeting and lunch with the Pope.

“We want a dialogue and that’s why we asked the pope to intervene so that the dialogue is successful.”

There has been no word yet as to how the Pope responded to the appeal.

In a referendum held a week ago, people in the Falkland Islands voted overwhelmingly in favor of remaining a UK overseas territory.

At a Mass last year, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio told Argentine veterans of the Falklands War: “We come to pray for all who have fallen, sons of the Homeland who went out to defend their mother, the Homeland, and to reclaim what is theirs.”

Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner announces she has asked for Pope Francis' intervention in the Falklands dispute between her country and the UK

Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner announces she has asked for Pope Francis’ intervention in the Falklands dispute between her country and the UK

British Prime Minister David Cameron said last week that he “respectfully” disagreed with the view expressed in the past by Pope Francis that the Falkland Islands had been “usurped” by the UK.Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is the first head of state Pope Francis has met. She presented him with a mate gourd and straw for drinking traditional Argentine tea.

The two also kissed, and the president remarked afterwards: “Never in my life has a pope kissed me!”

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner gave a muted welcome to the Pope’s election. The two have clashed in the past, especially over social reforms promoted by her and her late husband in the face of Church opposition.

When the then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio argued that gay adoptions discriminated against children, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said his tone harked back to “medieval times and the Inquisition”.

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner once referred to Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the “head of the opposition”.

Last year, the cardinal said Argentina was being harmed by demagoguery, totalitarianism, corruption and efforts to secure unlimited power, the Associated Press reports.

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Pope Francis I has delivered his first Angelus prayer and blessing before a crowd of many thousands gathered in St Peter’s Square in Rome.

The pontiff also delivered off-the-cuff remarks, about God’s power to forgive, instead of reading a written speech.

It was the Pope’s second official appearance before the general public since he was elected on Wednesday.

Earlier, Pope Francis celebrated his first Sunday mass as pontiff in the Vatican’s small and simple parish church.

Before he entered the church, chosen instead of St Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis greeted well-wishers who had lined up outside a nearby Vatican gate shouting “Francesco” (his name in Italian).

At the end of the Sunday Mass, he waited outside the church and greeted people as they left, like a parish priest, asking many of them to, “pray for me”.

Later, just a few minutes after delivering the Angelus, Pope Francis sent his first Tweet as pontiff, writing: “Dear friends, I thank you from my heart and I ask you to continue to pray for me. Pope Francis.”

Pope Francis I has delivered his first Angelus prayer and blessing before a crowd of many thousands gathered in St Peter's Square in Rome

Pope Francis I has delivered his first Angelus prayer and blessing before a crowd of many thousands gathered in St Peter’s Square in Rome

First impressions of the new Pope from the faithful on St Peter’s Square have been favorable.“He uses simple words for all people,” said policeman Claudio, who was born in Rome.

“Plus he’s Hispanic and so closer to the Italians.”

The new Pope’s tone is very different to that of Benedict XVI.

Pope Francis’ style is pastoral, he teaches by anecdote and speaks off the cuff with ease, in contrast to the theological sermonizing of Pope Benedict.

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Pope Francis I has said he wants “a poor Church, for the poor” following his election as the next pontiff.

The Pope said he chose the name Francis after 12-13th Century St Francis of Assisi, who represented “poverty and peace”.

The pontiff urged journalists to get to know the Church with its “virtues and sins” and to share its focus on “truth, goodness and beauty”.

Pope Francis takes over from Benedict XVI, who abdicated last month.

The former Argentine cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, was the surprise choice of cardinals meeting in Rome to choose a new head of the Catholic Church.

In his first audience at the Vatican, Pope Francis said Jesus Christ and not the Pope was the centre of the Church, which he stressed was “spiritual not political” in nature.

Pope Francis said the Holy Spirit had inspired the resignation of Benedict XVI and guided the cardinals choosing him as the next pontiff.

The Pope said he chose the name Francis after 12-13th Century St Francis of Assisi, who represented poverty and peace

The Pope said he chose the name Francis after 12-13th Century St Francis of Assisi, who represented poverty and peace

The Pope said he had been inspired to take the name Francis by a Brazilian colleague who embraced him and whispered “don’t forget the poor” when it was announced that he had been elected Pope.He said he immediately thought of St Francis of Assisi, the Italian founder of the Franciscan Order who was devoted to the poor.

As well as representing poverty and peace, the Pope said St Francis “loved and looked after” creation – and he noted that humanity was “not having a good relationship with nature at the moment”.

St Francis of Assisi is said to have loved animals as his “brothers and sisters” and even to have preached to birds.

There had been speculation that Pope Francis – who was a member of the Jesuit order – had chosen his name in honor of St Francis Xavier, a 16th Century Jesuit missionary in Asia. But he said this was not the case.

The new Pope’s style is very different to that of his predecessor.

He talks in simple, easy to understand terms about ethical values and shows a remarkable sense of humor.

Earlier, the Vatican said Pope Francis would visit his predecessor Pope emeritus Benedict next week.

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The Vatican has denied that Pope Francis I failed to speak out against human rights abuses during military rule in his native Argentina.

“There has never been a credible, concrete accusation against him,” said Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi, adding the Pope had never been charged.

Federico Lombardi blamed the accusations on “anti-clerical left-wing elements that are used to attack the Church”.

Former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis I, led Argentina’s Jesuits under the junta.

Correspondents say that like other Latin American churchmen of the time, Jorge Mario Bergoglio had to contend, on the one hand, with a repressive right-wing regime and, on the other, a wing of his Church leaning towards political activism on the left.

One allegation concerns the abduction in 1976 of two Jesuits by the Argentina’s military government, suspicious of their work among slum-dwellers.

As the priests’ provincial superior at the time, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was accused by some of having failed to shield them from arrest – a charge his office flatly denied.

The Vatican has denied that Pope Francis I failed to speak out against human rights abuses during military rule in his native Argentina

The Vatican has denied that Pope Francis I failed to speak out against human rights abuses during military rule in his native Argentina

Judges investigating the arrest and torture of the two men – who were freed after five months – questioned Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as a witness in 2010.The new Pope’s official biographer, Sergio Rubin, argues that the Jesuit leader “took extraordinary, behind-the-scenes action to save them”.

Another accusation leveled against Pope Francis I from the Dirty War era is that he failed to follow up a request to help find the baby of a woman kidnapped when five months pregnant and who was killed in 1977. It is believed the baby was illegally adopted.

Jorge Mario Begoglio testified in 2010 that he had not known about baby thefts until well after the junta fell – a claim relatives dispute.

Newly-elected Pope Francis has warned the Catholic Church would become “a compassionate NGO” without spiritual renewal.

In a Sistine Chapel Mass with cardinals on his first day as Church leader, Pope Francis said: “If we do not confess to Christ, what would we be?

“We would end up a compassionate NGO. What would happen would be like when children make sand castles and then it all falls down.”

Francis is the first Latin American – and the first Jesuit – Pope.

The 76-year-old has already been swift to stamp his style on the papacy.

Pope Francis is regarded as a doctrinal conservative, but he is also seen as a potential force for reform of the Vatican bureaucracy, analysts say.

On Wednesday night, Pope Francis endeared himself to the crowds in St Peter’s Square – and underlined his reputation for humility – when he asked them to bless him before blessing them in return from the balcony of the basilica.

The Vatican’s account of his first hours in the top job on Thursday also emphasized Pope Francis’s humility, describing how he shunned a special car and security detail provided to take him to the Vatican, travelling instead on a bus with the other cardinals.

Pope Francis has warned the Catholic Church would become a compassionate NGO without spiritual renewal

Pope Francis has warned the Catholic Church would become a compassionate NGO without spiritual renewal

Following his first outing as pope to the Rome basilica on Thursday, Francis went back to the clergy house in a city centre side street where he had been staying ahead of the conclave that elected him on Wednesday.

“He packed his bags and then he went to pay the bill for his room so as to set a good example,” said Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi.

Pope Francis also broke tradition by remaining standing to receive cardinals’ acts of homage after his election, instead of sitting in the papal throne, Father Federico Lombardi said.

On Friday, Pope Francis will meet all the cardinals, including those aged over 80 who did not take part in the conclave.

On Saturday he will meet the world’s media at a special papal audience, an opportunity perhaps to set out some of his global vision.

A visit to his predecessor Benedict XVI at his retreat at Castel Gandolfo outside Rome is also planned, but will not take place in the next couple of days, Father Federico Lombardi said.

The visit to Benedict is important, correspondents say, as the existence of a living retired pope has prompted fears of a possible rival power.

Pope Francis will be installed officially in an inauguration Mass on Tuesday, March 19, the Vatican added.

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