Pope Francis has rounded off his first day as pontiff with a warning for Catholics not to forget the church’s primary mission.
His message came in a homily at a mass for Cardinals in the Sistine Chapel, where 24 hours before they had elected the first ever South American pope.
The mass was in Latin, but for his homily, the Argentinian pope spoke in Italian without notes.
He urged Catholics to continue proclaiming the message of Jesus Christ, otherwise Catholicism risked being reduced to what he called “a compassionate NGO.”
Francis said the Church should shun worldliness and focus more on the
He had begun his first day in the job praying at the Santa Maria Maggiori, but it was not long before people were clamouring to be among the first to congratulate him.
A man known for his frugal lifestyle, he asked his driver to go to a residence for priests where he could pick up his bags and pay his bill.
One priest remarked that the pope need not worry about paying the bill, because the residence belonged to the church, and now the church belongs to Francis.