CHALLENGES AHEAD


| Zoom

(AP) - He has won the papacy but there is little time for celebration.

Pope Francis takes over a Vatican plagued by scandal in its bureaucracy and under pressure over its failures to protect children from sexual abuse by priests.

The Church is also losing parishioners and its influence on public life, and some Catholics face persecution and violence in parts of the Middle East and China.

Lauded for his humility and austerity, the 76-year-old from Argentina will be called upon to emulate one of his namesakes, St. Francis of Assisi, who saw his calling as trying to rebuild the church.

In the near future, Francis will celebrate his first Mass as pope in the Sistine Chapel on Thursday and will be installed officially on Tuesday, ahead of the busy Easter calendar.

His first public words to the thousands cheering in St. Peter's Square today were characteristically humble: "Thank you for the welcome."

With that, the 266th papacy has begun.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Top Stories

  • Stolen Celebration
    Thieves have stolen all the decorations for Seattle's popular Halloween Alley

  • Commitment
    A Boeing CEO says Everett's new 777X wing facility is a sign of commitment

  • All You Can Eat
    6 belt-loosening food challenges in Seattle you may not be man enough to complete
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.