Pope Urges Departing Cardinals To Continue "Ministry"
Updated: Updated 03/15/2013 05:23 PM
By: NY1 News
Pope Francis on Friday met with the College of Cardinals who elected him along with those too old to vote at the conclave.
He greeted them all individually at the Vatican, including New York's Cardinal Dolan.
Francis praised his predecessor, and urged the cardinals to return home with a renewed sense of purpose.
"Go back to your homes and continue your ministry enriched by the experience of these days. So much faith and communion. A unique and incomparable experience which has enabled us to perceive the beauty of the church, which is a reflection of a resurrected Christ," Francis.
After celebrating mass with Pope Francis on Thursday, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said the new pope has his work cut out for him.
He expressed hope Francis will be able to surround himself with people of good conscience, who can help improve the image of the Catholic Church.
"You know he comes from Argentina. Now Argentina has a lot of good, and a lot of challenges. One of the challenges, like ours, is that some people are leaving the Catholic church. When he, like any other good pastor would say, 'Why?' He sees that people are sometimes shocked and scandalized by the church, so he knows we have to do something about that, and he will," Dolan said.
Pope Francis' installation is set for Tuesday.
NY1 will have live coverage of the service beginning at 4:30 a.m.
He's known worldwide for being humble, but Pope Francis will be getting an upgrade when he moves into his new living quarters.
The seals on the papal apartment in Vatican City were broken Friday.
Pope Francis turned the key and was soon touring his new home.
He's not expected to move in until renovations are complete.
Pope Francis will live in a suite at the Santa Marta residence in the interim.
Meanwhile, the Vatican is defending the new pope against accusations he was silent during Argentina's military dictatorship.
The controversy stems from the kidnapping of two priests back in the late 1970's during a time known as the "dirty war" when the dictatorship would abduct and sometimes kill opponents of the government.
Reports in the Argentine media accuse the pope - then the regional superior for the Jesuit order - of not protecting the priests as well as not speaking out against the military.
During Friday's press briefing, a Vatican spokesperson called those reports "defamatory", adding Bergoglio did everything he could to save his fellow Jesuits.
One of the priests died in 2000. The other released a statement saying he has since reconciled with Bergoglio and that the two have celebrated mass together.
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