- Tens of thousands of faithful attend Pope Francis's first Angelus AsiaNews.it. 03/17/13. The pope reminds people that mercy is God's patience. "If God didn't forgive everything, the world wouldn't exist." The pope cites Card Kasper's book and an elderly Buenos Aires woman's for wisdom. He gives his blessing without chanting, and ends the Angelus, saying, "Have a nice Sunday and a good lunch!"
- Portenos paint Pope Francis as kind, outspoken, good administrator, by David Agren. Catholic News Service. 03/17/13:
Oscar Justo, 60, begs for bills and coins from a perch next to St. Joseph Parish in Barrio de Flores, the neighborhood where Pope Francis was born.
As Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis passed by often, walking from the bus stop or surfacing from a nearby subway station. But he always took time to greet Justo, offer a blessing and provide a few pesos.
"He always gave me something ... sometimes 100 pesos ($20)," said Justo, 60, who lost both legs in a railway accident.
Such stories of kindness abound in Buenos Aires, where Pope Francis was archbishop for 15 years, until being elected pope March 13. Portenos, as locals here are known, came to know Pope Francis as an unpretentious prelate, who took public transit, showed preoccupation for the poor and challenged the authorities.
- Pope Francis takes over Vatican's top secret dossiers Fr. Georg Ganswein has the task of guiding Bergoglio in his journey through the Vatican's secrets. La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 03/17/13:
Even on issues left pending: the Vatileaks scandal, the return of the Lefebvrists to communion with Rome, the reform of the Curia, the sacred finances. He is the "ferryman" between two pontificates. An entirely new figure in ecclesiastical history, Fr. Georg is the point of contact between the reigning Pope and the Emeritus one. He preserves his function as Ratzinger's Secretary and continues to live with him at Castel Gandolfo, but at the same time he runs the Pontificalis Domus of his successor Bergoglio. Beyond any protocol, he substantially acts as a transmission belt in the difficult starting phase of the pontificate.
"He is performing a very delicate task," explains a head of a dicastery, "Fr. Georg is with Francis not so much because of his current tasks in the Apostolic Palace, but because he is helping in the handover of delicate topics, on Ratzinger's behalf." In short, the presence (and advice) of Mgr. Gaenswein is how Benedict XVI is helping Bergoglio through the meanders of the Roman Curia and is "protecting" him through the slippery transition phase. "It is Fr. Georg who has the Vatileaks dossier to be delivered to Francis", explains the cardinal, referring to the report by the three investigating cardinals Herranz, Tomko, and De Giorgi on the theft of documents from the papal apartment.
- "Jorge is against regimes. It is because of fascism that our father emigrated" - Paolo Mastrolilli interviews Maria Elena Bergoglio, sister of Pope Francis. La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 03/17/2013.