Papal inauguration of Pope Francis

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 1000 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 elector cardinal-priest Godfried Danneels pronounced the formal prayer for the new pope before the Ring of the Fisherman was presented.[3][lower-alpha 1] 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.[lower-alpha 2] In previous ceremonies, all the cardinals did so.[8][lower-alpha 3]

According to a Vatican spokesperson between 150,000 and 200,000 people attended.[11]


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."[11][12]

Official delegations

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][13][14][15]


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
Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff greets Pope Francis.
Country FlagOfficial delegation
AndorraCo-Prince Joan Enric Vives Sicília, Bishop of Urgell
AlbaniaPrime Minister Sali Berisha
AngolaVice President Manuel Domingos Vicente[16]
ArmeniaPresident Serzh Sargsyan
ArgentinaPresident Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
AustriaPresident Heinz Fischer and his wife, Margit Fischer
Chancellor Werner Faymann
Vice Chancellor Michael Spindelegger
BahrainPrince Abdullah bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
BangladeshForeign Minister Dipu Moni[17]
BelarusAnatoly Rubinov, Chairman of the Council of the Republic
Sergey Aleinik, Ambassador to the Holy See[18]
BelgiumKing Albert II and Queen Paola
Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo
Bosnia-HerzegovinaPrime 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]
BrazilPresident Dilma Rousseff
BulgariaPresident Rosen Plevneliev
CanadaGovernor General David Johnston and his wife Sharon Johnston
Jason Kenney, Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism[20]
ChilePresident Sebastian Piñera and First Lady Cecilia Morel
China, Republic of President Ma Ying-jeou and First Lady Christine Chow Mei-ching
Vanessa Shih, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
ColombiaMaria Angela Holguin, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Costa RicaPresident Laura Chinchilla
CroatiaPresident Ivo Josipović and First Lady Tatjana Josipović
Vesna Pusić, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs[21]
Cuba First Vice President Miguel Díaz-Canel[22]
CyprusAndreas Mavroyiannis, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs [23]
Czech Republic Karel Schwarzenberg, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs[24]
Dominican RepublicCándida Montilla de Medina, First Lady
Ecuador President Rafael Correa[25]
EgyptMohamed Saber Ibrahim Arab, Minister of Culture
El SalvadorHugo Martínez, Minister of Foreign Affairs[26]
France Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault
Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs
Germany Norbert Lammert, President of the Bundestag
Winfried Kretschmann, President of the Bundesrat
Chancellor Angela Merkel
Vice Chancellor Philipp Rösler
HondurasPresident Porfirio Lobo Sosa
HungaryPresident János Áder and First Lady Anita Herczegh
Zsolt Semjén, Deputy Prime Minister
György Hölvényi, State Secretary for religious, ethnic and civil society[27]
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 P. J. Kurien, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman[28]
IrelandPresident Michael D. Higgins and First Lady Sabina Coyne.[29]
Michael Noonan, Minister for Finance
Japan Yoshiro Mori, former Prime Minister
Kosovo Hashim Thaçi, Prime Minister[30]
LebanonPrime Minister Nagib Miqati
LiechtensteinHereditary Prince Alois and his wife Hereditary Princess Sophie[31]
LithuaniaPresident Dalia Grybauskaitė
Luxembourg Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa
Malta President George Abela
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat
Lawrence Gonzi, Leader of the Opposition[32]
MexicoPresident Enrique Peña Nieto and First Lady Angélica Rivera
MonacoPrince Albert II and Princess Charlene
NetherlandsPrince Willem-Alexander, The Prince of Orange and his wife, Princess Máxima
Prime Minister Mark Rutte
New ZealandChris Finlayson, Cabinet minister[33]
NicaraguaVice President Omar Halleslevens[34]
Nigeria David Mark, President of the Senate
Stella Oduah-Ogiemwonyi, Minister of Aviation
Viola Onwuliri, Minister of State[35]
ParaguayPresident Federico Franco
PeruRafael Roncagliolo, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Philippines Vice President Jejomar Binay[36]
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[37]
PortugalPresident Anibal Cavaco Silva
RomaniaPresident Traian Băsescu
RussiaSergey Naryshkin, Chairman of the State Duma
San MarinoPasquale Valentini, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Politics[38]
SerbiaPresident Tomislav Nikolić
Ivan Mrkić, Minister of Foreign Affairs
SeychellesJean-Paul Adam, Minister for Foreign Affairs [39]
Singapore Grace Fu, Minister in Prime Minister's Office[40]
Slovakia President Ivan Gašparovič[41]
Slovenia President Borut Pahor
South KoreaYoo Jin-ryong, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism
SpainInfante Felipe, The Prince of Asturias and his wife, The Princess of Asturias
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy[42]
Sri Lanka Neomal Perera, Deputy Minister of External Affairs
Sarath Kumara Gunaratna, Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
John Amaratunga, Member of Parliament[43]
SwitzerlandDidier Burkhalter Federal Councillor[44]
Ukraine Kostyantyn Hryshchenko, Deputy Prime Minister[45]
United Kingdom Prince Richard, The Duke of Gloucester and his wife, Birgitte, The Duchess of Gloucester
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 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
VenezuelaDiosdado Cabello, President of National Assembly[47]
ZimbabwePresident 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 FlagOfficial delegation
European UnionHerman 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 NationsJosé Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)[52]
Sovereign Military Order of MaltaPrince and Grand Master Matthew Festing[53]

Religious figures

Christian Churches

ChurchOfficial delegation
Eastern Orthodox Churches
Orthodox Church of ConstantinopleBartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople[54]
Russian Orthodox ChurchHilarion (Alfeyev), Department for External Church Relations of Moscow Partriarchate[55]
Serbian Orthodox ChurchMetropolitan Amfilohije (Radović), Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral and Administrator of Eparchy of Buenos Aires (and Central and Southern America)[56]
Orthodox Church in AmericaMetropolitan Tikhon, Metropolitan of All America and Canada[57]
Anglican and Old Catholic Churches
Church of EnglandJohn Sentamu, Archbishop of York, Primate of England[58]
Episcopal ChurchPierre Whalon, bishop-in-charge of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe
Union of Utrecht (Old Catholic)Joris Vercammen, Archbishop of Utrecht[59]
Oriental Orthodox
Armenian Apostolic ChurchKarekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians[60]

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."[61][62][63]

Other religions

BodyOfficial delegation
Risshō Kōsei KaiNichiko Niwano, President[64]
Institute of JainologyHarshadray N Sanghrajka, Deputy Chair & Director
Italian Jewish CommunityRiccardo di Segni, Grand Rabbi of Rome
Riccardo Pacifici, President of Rome's Jewish community
Chief Rabbinate of IsraelOded Wiener, Director General[65]
Islamic Community of SerbiaMuhamed Jusufspahić, Mufti of Serbia and Vice President of Rijaset of Islamic Community of Serbia
Islamic Community of Latin AmericaMohamed Youssef Hajar, Secretary General of the Islamic Organisation of Latin America


  1. The cardinal protopresbyter or protopriest had the privilege of pronouncing the formal prayer for the new pope at a papal inauguration--in 2005 the then-protopriest Stephen Kim Sou-hwan (a non-elector cardinal) exercised this privilege at the inauguration of Pope Benedict XVI. At Pope Francis' inauguration, the privilege ordinarily would have been exercised by the incumbent protopriest Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns, Archbishop-Emeritus of São Paulo, Brazil; however Cardinal Arns was absent so his place was taken by the senior cardinal-elector from the order of cardinal-priests Godfried Danneels, Archbishop-Emeritus of Mechelen-Brussels, Belgium[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. At Pope Benedict XVI's inauguration, the cardinals who made the public profession of obedience were: the senior Cardinal Bishop Angelo Sodano, the protopriest Stephen Kim Sou-hwan, and the protodeacon Jorge Arturo Medina Estévez. In addition, nine non-cardinals also made the public profession of obedience at Benedict's inauguration: Bishop Andrea Erba, the bishop of Benedict's former suburbicarian diocese of Velletri-Segni, Father Enrico Pomili the priest serving as pastor of Benedict's former titular church Santa Maria Consolatrice al Tiburtino when he was a Cardinal priest, a deacon, a religious brother, a Benedictine nun, a married couple from Korea, and a young woman from Sri Lanka and a young man from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, each of whom had been recently confirmed.[9][10]


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