(NECN/NBC News: Tracie Potts) – Friday, we may see the first signs of how newly-elected Pope Francis plans to deal with corruption and scandal in the Catholic Church. He's meeting with the cardinals who elected him at the Vatican.
We don't know a lot about this meeting, other than the fact that it's happening. The new pope will be sitting down with his top cardinals for the first time, to discuss reform.
Pope Francis is quickly becoming more popular than any Jesuit priest might imagine:
"We liked his humility, his personality, really liked him," said tourist Zolta Brizar.
But beyond his reputation and lifestyle, how will this Vatican outsider take on the church's biggest challenges?
- allegations of infighting and corruption at the highest levels of the church
- the ongoing sex abuse scandal
- dwindling membership
- and economic problems (the Vatican recently reported a $19 million shortfall)
"This is a man from the outside who's known for his honesty, his candor, his sincerity, his simplicity and running a pretty well-oiled machine in one of the most complex, largest archdioceses in the world. I think he can do it," said Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York.
At Friday's meeting, cardinals may find out how he'll do it, whether Pope Francis is planning a shake-up here and how soon:
"He'll have to get people who will do what he wants done and will help him make the changes necessary," said Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago.
Awaiting the pope's review is the 300-page Vatileaks report, detailing how the church's problems went public. That report was left by Pope Benedict for only his successor to see.
The papal apartment is still dark today as Catholics worldwide look to Pope Francis to shed some light on the church's future.
Saturday, Pope Francis will take on the media at a papal news conference. Thousands of journalists are here, and the Vatican has invited as many as possible to attend.