New Pope to refocus on the poor
Vatican City - The Church should go back to its roots, shed its riches and concentrate on looking after the poor, Pope Francis said Saturday.
"Ah, how I would like a poor Church, for the poor," Francis said in a meeting with the world’s media, a traditional event for popes following their election.
He confirmed that he choose his name in honour of Saint Francis of Assisi, the medieval monk and Patron Saint of Italy famous for renouncing his family’s wealth to live in poverty and for his love of nature.
The ensuing papal election was portrayed by media as a contest between reformists and traditionalists, on the back of reports of infighting and divisions within the Vatican hierarchy.
But while stressing that the ecclesiastical events were not "more complicated" than political or economic ones, Francis insisted that the Catholic Church "is not a political body, but essentially a spiritual one."
Francis is due to deliver his first Angelus prayers on Sunday and be inaugurated with a mass in Saint Peter’s Square on Tuesday, which will be attended by many world leaders, including the leader of his home country./DPA