There is something extremely humbling about Pope Francis I. As the new leader of 1.2 billion Catholics made his way through over 200,000 people today, he stepped out of the open Popemobile; shaking hands with the faithful public and even kissing a small child and blessing a disabled man.
During the inaugural mass, Pope Francis said, “The vocation of being a “protector”– is not just something involving us Christians alone; it also has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world— We must not be afraid of goodness, of tenderness!”
More than 130 national delegations attended the Mass, including U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who is Catholic himself. Many believe the former Argentine archbishop and 266th occupant of the Throne of St. Peter is capable of making great change and reviving the church’s reputation.
Maria Susana Saugar from Buenos Aires who attended the inauguration told USA Today, “It’s a pride for Argentina, but also for the church. I think he will change the church, return it to its humble roots as a ministry to people in need. I love him and what he stands for. I agree with his views.”
Now that the Pope is officially leading the church, he will take on the challenges of restoring the faith after it has faced scrutiny for numerous sex abuse scandals. As his first tweet said, “Dear Friends, I offer my heartfelt thanks and ask you to continue to pray for me.” The world and his many faithful followers will be watching and praying for our new Pope.