Pope Francis a Humble Man, Took Bus Rather Than Papal Car - NECN

Pope Francis a Humble Man, Took Bus Rather Than Papal Car

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    Pope Francis a humble man, took bus rather than papal car

    Spokesman says Pope Francis skipped papal car, taking the bus to his hotel to pick up his bags and pay his bill (Published Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014)

    (NECN/NBC News: Tracie Potts) – Thursday is Pope Francis' first full day on the job. He began his morning with a private prayer service, and less than 24 hours on the job he's already turning heads for his unique style of leadership.

    Ducking in a side entrance, Pope Francis made his first public appearance Thursday morning at Santa Maria Maggiore. A handful of well-wishers were among the first to greet the new pontiff.

    He was then celebrating mass with the cardinals in the Sistine Chapel where he was elected.

    Humble, yes. But the Vatican says he also has a sense of humor.

    "He said may God forgive you for what you've done," said Vatican spokesman Father Thomas Rosica.

    From the simple Jesuit from Argentina living in a small apartment, riding the public bus, to the Pope's humble lifestyle now on display all over Rome.

    "I think they are all going to be in shock, this may not be a man who wants to wear silk and furs," said Father Thomas Reese, Analyst for National Catholic Reporters.

    Wednesday night, after greeting the crowd, a spokesman says he skipped the papal car, took the bus, went back to his hotel to pick up his bags and pay his bill.

    "He was concerned about giving a good example in what priests and bishops should do," said the Vatican spokesman.

    But style aside, huge problems lie ahead: dealing with the sexual abuse crisis, corruption, a decline in membership and reforming the Vatican.

    "He talked about being the bishop of Rome, I think that really resonated with the people here," said Catholic Voices director Kim Daniels.
    The people here, now his people, as 1.2 billion Catholics look to their new Pope for answers and inspiration.

    And now we're getting word that Wednesday night's announcement here was the second biggest Twitter event ever behind the re-election of President Obama.