World Leaders Head to Rome for Pope’s Inaugural Mass

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World Leaders Head to Rome for Pope’s Inaugural Mass

World Leaders Head to Rome for Pope’s Inaugural Mass

(Vatican City) – World leaders have started arriving in Rome ahead of an inauguration mass for Pope Francis. Francis’s reign is already proving ground-breaking with an informal style that is not customary in the Vatican’s austere halls of power. He has called for a “poor Church for the poor”, has warned cardinals against worldly glories and has said the Church could crumble away “like a sand castle” without spiritual renewal.
The leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics will be formally enthroned on March 19th at a mass in St Peter’s Square, with city authorities preparing for an influx of up to a million people to Rome. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault are among European leaders set to attend, along with EU President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe also flew into Rome, sidestepping a travel ban that applies to the EU but not to the sovereign Vatican City state.

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