Papal inauguration of Pope Francis

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Among the people at St. Peter's Square during The Inauguration Mass

The papal inauguration of Pope Francis was held on 19 March 2013[1] in St. Peter's Square in the Vatican. Holy Mass was celebrated by Pope Francis before political and religious leaders from around the world. The crowd was estimated between 150,000 and 200,000. Official delegations from 132 states and various religious groups attended. It was the first papal inauguration attended by the Patriarch of Constantinople in over 1,000 years.


Pope Francis waving to the crowds after the Mass

About half an hour before the Mass, Francis toured the square in the popemobile to greet the crowds. He stopped and left the popemobile once to kiss a disabled man. Pope Francis wore a simple mitre, which he has had since he was bishop, as well as its matching chasuble. He used the pastoral staff that Benedict XVI used, but in contrast to Benedict XVI's grand liturgical sense, Pope Francis kept the songs and liturgical actions simple. According to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Pope Francis's lack of singing during Mass is attributed to him having only one lung.[2]

After the pope's arrival, the ceremony began with the new pope descending to the tomb of St. Peter in St. Peter's Basilica. The pope, along with the patriarchs and major-archbishops of the Eastern Catholic Churches prayed at the tomb.[3] Afterwards, the pallium—a lamb's wool shawl—and the Ring of the Fisherman were taken by two deacons from the tomb where they had previously been laid and carried up to be borne in procession.[3] Then the pope and the Eastern Catholic patriarchs and major-archbishops went up to the basilica main floor and proceeded along with the other cardinals, bishops and other clergy in procession to the square chanting the "Laudes Regiæ".[3]

The cardinal protodeacon, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, bestowed the pallium on the pope.[3] The senior cardinal-priest present, Godfried Danneels, read the prayer for the new pope before the Ring of the Fisherman was presented.[3][a] Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals, presented him with his Fisherman's Ring of gold-plated silver unlike his predecessors' which were gold.[3][6] Six cardinals, two of each rank of cardinal, then professed their obedience to Pope Francis on behalf of the College of Cardinals.[b] In previous ceremonies, all the cardinals did so.[8][c]

According to a Vatican spokesperson between 150,000 and 200,000 people attended.[10]


Pope Francis delivered his homily in Italian. He focused on the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, the liturgical day on which the Mass was celebrated. He stated that everyone needs to care for the earth and for each other as Joseph cared for Jesus and Mary. He set forth a plan of his own actions: "The pope, too, when exercising power, must enter ever more fully into that service, which has its radiant culmination on the cross."[10][11]

Official delegations[edit]

Some 132 states and international organizations sent delegations to the inauguration. The delegations included 6 sovereign rulers, 31 heads of state, 3 princes, and 11 heads of government.[6][12][13][14]


President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner with Pope Francis during the installation mass.
President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano and his wife Clio greet Pope Francis
Mexican President Peña Nieto meeting Pope Francis at the papal inauguration
Governor General of Canada David Johnston and his wife Sharon with Jason Kenney, and Marc Ouellet the night before
Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff greets Pope Francis.
Country Flag Official delegation
Andorra Flag of Andorra Co-Prince Joan Enric Vives Sicília, Bishop of Urgell
Albania Flag of Albania Prime Minister Sali Berisha
Angola Flag of Aangola Vice President Manuel Domingos Vicente[15]
Armenia Flag of Armenia President Serzh Sargsyan[16]
Argentina Flag of Argentina President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
Austria Flag of Austria President Heinz Fischer and his wife, Margit Fischer
Chancellor Werner Faymann
Vice Chancellor Michael Spindelegger
Bahrain Flag of Bahrain Prince Abdullah bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
Bangladesh Flag of Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni[17]
Belarus Flag of Belarus Anatoly Rubinov, Chairman of the Council of the Republic
Sergey Aleinik, Ambassador to the Holy See[18]
Belgium Flag of Belgium King Albert II and Queen Paola
Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo
Bosnia-Herzegovina Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina Prime Minister Vjekoslav Bevanda
Zlatko Lagumdžija, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Sredoje Nović, Minister of Civil Affairs
Eugen Šušak, Head of the Cabinet of the Prime Minister[19]
Brazil Flag of Brazil President Dilma Rousseff
Bulgaria Flag of Bulgaria President Rosen Plevneliev
Canada Flag of Canada Governor General David Johnston and his wife Sharon Johnston
Jason Kenney, Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism[20]
Chile Flag of Chile President Sebastian Piñera and First Lady Cecilia Morel
China, Republic of Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou and First Lady Christine Chow Mei-ching
Vanessa Shih, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
Colombia Flag of Colombia María Ángela Holguín, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Costa Rica Flag of Costa Rica President Laura Chinchilla
Croatia Flag of Croatia President Ivo Josipović and First Lady Tatjana Josipović
Vesna Pusić, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs[21]
Cuba Cuba First Vice President Miguel Díaz-Canel[22]
Cyprus Flag of Cyprus Andreas Mavroyiannis, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs [23]
Czech Republic Flag of the Czech Republic Karel Schwarzenberg, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs[24]
Dominican Republic Flag of Dominican Republic Cándida Montilla de Medina, First Lady
Ecuador Ecuador President Rafael Correa[25]
Egypt Flag of Egypt Mohamed Saber Ibrahim Arab, Minister of Culture
El Salvador Flag of El Salvador Hugo Martínez, Minister of Foreign Affairs[26]
France France Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault
Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs
Germany Germany Norbert Lammert, President of the Bundestag
Winfried Kretschmann, President of the Bundesrat
Chancellor Angela Merkel
Vice Chancellor Philipp Rösler
Honduras Flag of Honduras President Porfirio Lobo Sosa
Hungary Flag of Hungary President János Áder and First Lady Anita Herczegh
Zsolt Semjén, Deputy Prime Minister
György Hölvényi, State Secretary for religious, ethnic and civil society[27]
Italy Italy President Giorgio Napolitano and First Lady Clio Maria Bittoni
Prime Minister Mario Monti
Pietro Grasso, President of the Senate
Laura Boldrini, President of the Chamber of Deputies
India India P. J. Kurien, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman[28]
Ireland Flag of Ireland President Michael D. Higgins and First Lady Sabina Coyne.[29]
Michael Noonan, Minister for Finance
Japan Flag of Japan Yoshiro Mori, former Prime Minister
Kosovo Flag of Kosovo Hashim Thaçi, Prime Minister[30]
Lebanon Flag of Lebanon Prime Minister Nagib Miqati
Liechtenstein Flag of Liechtenstein Hereditary Prince Alois and his wife Hereditary Princess Sophie
Lithuania Flag of Lithuania President Dalia Grybauskaitė
Luxembourg Flag of Luxembourg Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa
Malta Malta President George Abela
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat
Lawrence Gonzi, Leader of the Opposition[31]
Mexico Flag of Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto and First Lady Angélica Rivera
Monaco Flag of Monaco Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene
Netherlands Flag of the Netherlands Prince Willem-Alexander, The Prince of Orange and his wife, Princess Máxima
Prime Minister Mark Rutte
New Zealand New Zealand Chris Finlayson, Cabinet minister[32]
Nicaragua Nicaragua Vice President Omar Halleslevens[33]
Nigeria Flag of Nigeria David Mark, President of the Senate
Stella Oduah-Ogiemwonyi, Minister of Aviation
Viola Onwuliri, Minister of State[34]
Paraguay Flag of Paraguay President Federico Franco
Peru Flag of Peru Rafael Roncagliolo, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Philippines Philippines Vice President Jejomar Binay[35]
Poland Poland President Bronisław Komorowski and First Lady Anna Komorowska
Bogdan Borusewicz, Speaker of the Senate
Lech Wałęsa, former President
Jacek Cichocki, Director of the Prime Minister's Office[36]
Portugal Flag of Portugal President Aníbal Cavaco Silva
Romania Flag of Romania President Traian Băsescu
Russia Flag of Russia Sergey Naryshkin, Chairman of the State Duma
San Marino Flag of San Marino Pasquale Valentini, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Politics[37]
Serbia Flag of Serbia President Tomislav Nikolić
Ivan Mrkić, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Seychelles Flag of Seychelles Jean-Paul Adam, Minister for Foreign Affairs [38]
Singapore Singapore Grace Fu, Minister in Prime Minister's Office[39]
Slovakia Slovakia President Ivan Gašparovič[40]
Slovenia Slovenia President Borut Pahor
South Korea Flag of South Korea Yoo Jin-ryong, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism
Spain Flag of the Spain Infante Felipe, The Prince of Asturias and his wife, The Princess of Asturias
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy[41][better source needed]
Sri Lanka Flag of Sri Lanka Neomal Perera, Deputy Minister of External Affairs
Sarath Kumara Gunaratna, Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
John Amaratunga, Member of Parliament[42]
Switzerland Flag of Switzerland Didier Burkhalter Federal Councillor[43]
Ukraine Ukraine Kostyantyn Hryshchenko, Deputy Prime Minister[44]
United Kingdom United Kingdom Prince Richard and Birgitte, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester (representing the Queen of the United Kingdom and the Supreme Governor of the Church of England)[45]
Baroness Warsi, Senior Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Minister for Faith and Communities
Kenneth Clarke, Minister without Portfolio[46]
United States United States Vice President Joe Biden and his sister, Valerie Biden Owens
Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader in the House of Representatives
Susana Martinez, Governor of New Mexico
Venezuela Flag of Venezuela Diosdado Cabello, President of National Assembly[47]
Zimbabwe Flag of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and First Lady Grace Mugabe

Taiwan's representation was opposed by China, which has asked the Vatican to end the diplomatic relations with the state.[48]


subject of international law Flag Official delegation
European Union Flag of the European Union Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council[49]
Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission[50]
Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament[51]
United Nations Flag of the United Nations José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)[52]
Sovereign Military Order of Malta Flag of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta Prince and Grand Master Matthew Festing[53]

Religious figures[edit]

Christian churches[edit]

Church Official delegation
Eastern Orthodox churches
Orthodox Church of Constantinople Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople[54]
Russian Orthodox Church Hilarion (Alfeyev), Department for External Church Relations of Moscow Patriarchate[55]
Serbian Orthodox Church Metropolitan Amfilohije (Radović), Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral and Administrator of Eparchy of Buenos Aires (and Central and Southern America)[56]
Orthodox Church in America Metropolitan Tikhon, Metropolitan of All America and Canada[57]
Montenegrin Orthodox Church Archbishop Mihailo, Archbishop of Cetinje and Montenegro[58]
Anglican and Old Catholic churches
Church of England John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, Primate of England[59]
Episcopal Church Pierre Whalon, bishop-in-charge of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe
Union of Utrecht (Old Catholic) Joris Vercammen, Archbishop of Utrecht[60]
Oriental Orthodox
Armenian Apostolic Church Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians[61]

The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople had not attended a papal inauguration since the Great Schism of 1054. Orthodox leaders said that the decision of Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople to attend showed that he considers the relationship between the Orthodox and Catholic churches a priority. They also noted that Francis' "well-documented work for social justice and his insistence that globalization is detrimental to the poor" may have created a "renewed opportunity" for the two church communities to "work collectively on issues of mutual concern."[62][63][64]

Other religions[edit]

Body Official delegation
Risshō Kōsei Kai Nichiko Niwano, President[65]
Institute of Jainology Harshadray N Sanghrajka, Deputy Chair & Director
Italian Jewish Community Riccardo di Segni, Grand Rabbi of Rome
Riccardo Pacifici, President of Rome's Jewish community
Chief Rabbinate of Israel Oded Wiener, Director General[66]
Islamic Community of Serbia Muhamed Jusufspahić, Mufti of Serbia and Vice President of Rijaset of Islamic Community of Serbia
Islamic Community of Latin America Mohamed Youssef Hajar, Secretary General of the Islamic Organisation of Latin America


  1. ^ The cardinal protopresbyter or protopriest reads the prayer for the new pope, Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns did not travel from Brazil to attend so the next senior cardinal-priest Godfried Danneels, read it.[4][5]
  2. ^ The six cardinals were Giovanni Battista Re and Tarcisio Bertone representing the Cardinal-Bishops; Joachim Meisner and Jozef Tomko representing the Cardinal-Priests; and Renato Raffaele Martino and Francesco Marchisano representing the Cardinal-Deacons.[3][7]
  3. ^ In previous papal coronations and inaugurations up to and including Pope John Paul II's inauguration, all cardinals present professed their obedience. Pope Benedict XVI's inauguration was the first where only selected cardinals made the public profession of obedience.[9]


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External links[edit]