- Title: ARGENTINA: Argentine Catholics celebrate in pope's childhood barrio
- Date: 20th March 2013
- Summary: BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (MARCH 19, 2013) (REUTERS) BELLS CHIMING AT SAN JOSE DE FLORES CHURCH, WHERE POPE FRANCIS STARTED HIS CAREER IN THE CLERGY VARIOUS OF CATHOLICS SINGING ON CHURCH STAIRS HOLDING VATICAN FLAGS
- Embargoed: 4th April 2013 13:00
- Location: Argentina
- Country: Argentina
- Topics: Politics,Religion
- Reuters ID: LVA4E32VNALB8PRZESKZN1PSWU2R
- Story Text: Catholic faithful converge on Pope Francis' childhood neighbourhood in Buenos Aires Flores to celebrate the inauguration of the new home-grown pontiff.
Argentine Catholics flocked to celebrate Pope Francis' inauguration in Buenos Aires' San Jose De Flores Church on Tuesday (March 19), the suburban church where the new pontiff first started his career in the clergy.
Faithful covered on the church's steps waving Vatican flags and singing praises after their fellow Argentine was formally appointed as head of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.
Francis is Latin America's first pontiff, breaking some 1,300 years of European papacies.
Local Irma Ebreo told Reuters she was happy to see history in the making.
"I am happy. For me it is very important to be alive and see what I am seeing now and what I saw this morning. It's impressive," she said.
Pope Francis' childhood neighbourhood of Flores is one of Buenos Aires' largest middle-class suburbs and now a popular destination for Catholic pilgrims.
In a procession through Flores' residential streets, proud residents celebrated their new home-grown pontiff formerly known as Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio.
"I didn't meet him but yes I have friends and cousins who have traveled on the train and bus for example and it is very important. In life, I think that a person who says what they are going to do and do it is fundamental," said Catholic faithful, Enrique Camolese.
Since his election last week, Francis has signaled a sharp change of style from his more aloof predecessor, Benedict, and laid out a clear moral path for the Church, which is beset by scandals, intrigue and strife.
Francis is seen as having a common touch and the communication skills that the Benedict lacked and has given signs already that he will bring a new broom to the crisis-hit papacy, favouring humility and simplicity over pomp and grandeur.
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