warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Pope Francis Makes It Official -- Photos From The Vatican

Shako Liu |
March 19, 2013 | 3:33 a.m. PDT

Senior Staff Reporter

Thousands gathered on the St. Peter's Church Sunday to celebrate the new pope. (Photo by Shako Liu)
Thousands gathered on the St. Peter's Church Sunday to celebrate the new pope. (Photo by Shako Liu)
ROME -- Thousands of people packed into St. Peter's Square Tuesday to watch the inauguration of Pope Francis. Catholic enthusiam has been unusually high in Rome these days. Nuns, priests, and believers from all over Italy and Europe crowded into the old city to show their love and support to the new pope.

Pope Francis had a quick public appearance on the St. Peter's square Sunday, drawing thousands of supporters and tourists to the location. The square was as crowded as a Beijing train station in spring festival. Billows of flags and banners and deafening cheering "Papa Francisco" was never-rattling. As thousands of people prayed with Pope Francis, the sound of bells echoed in the air, all raised their hands and drew a cross on their chests. St. Peter's Square, with thousands of people, eventually grew quiet and solemn.

In his inaugural address, Francis pledged as he has throughout his first week to be a champion for the poor and least fortunate.

Merrtina, a Catholic believer on the square, refused to give out her last name, but the 31-year-old said, "I am here because I want to reach the holy father. I support him and accept him as our new holy father."

Non-Catholic Italians don't seem to care too much. Francesca Lapo, 28, said, "I don't know much about the Pope, but I like him because his name is Francisco."

Riccardo Benvenuti, non-Catholic, said, "Nobody really knew the candidates well. The issue remains the same. Church is against progress."

Reach Shako Liu here. Follow her on Twitter here.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.