Pope Francis inaugurated

Pope Francis has been officially installed as the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church today. The Pope began his first full day with a prayer dedicated to the Virgin Mary at Rome's main Basilica.

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Pope could greet the crowds today in Rome

by Richard Gaisford - Chief Correspondent, Daybreak

It is going to be an incredible mix of tourists, locals, dignitaries and pilgrims cramming into St Peter's Square today.

Vatican city this morning Credit: Twitter/@richardgaisford

The way the pope arrives will be a crucial sign of how he wants to be seen.

It is thought he may ditch the pope mobile at some point, get out and walk, talk and touch the people who have come here to get a glimpse of him.

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Robert Mugabe arrives for Pope's inauguration

A spokesperson for the Vatican has said that all countries were welcome to attend the inaugural mass for Pope Francis as Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe slipped into Italy despite facing a European Union travel ban.

Mugabe is greeted at Rome airport
Mugabe is greeted at Rome airport

Mugabe, Africa's oldest leader, has been under the ban since 2002 because of allegations of vote rigging and human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. However as Vatican City is not a member of the EU his visit does not breach the restrictions.

He was whisked straight from his plane in a black van, together with his wife, Grace, and bodyguards.

Mugabe and his wife Grace arrived at Rome airport
Mugabe and his wife Grace arrived at Rome airport

The Vatican says it did not issue invitations for the pope's inauguration, but that representatives of world governments are welcome to attend;

"The Holy See does not invite any country or foreign delegation or country or leader to come to this particular ceremony.

"We inform the world that this is taking place. Those who wish to come are welcomed, no-one is refused, they may come and take part in the ceremony," said Vatican Press Secretary Father Thomas Rosica in a media briefing.

Eastern Orthodox will attend Rome inauguration for first time in 950 years

In an historic first at the inauguration of Pope Francis, as after nearly 1,000 years, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople will attend the inauguration of the Pope of Rome.

His Holiness Bartholomew I talks to the press after a meeting with President Obama at the White House in 2009
His Holiness Bartholomew I talks to the press after a meeting with President Obama at the White House in 2009 Credit: Olivier Douliery/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

Delegates from more than 20 Christian churches and ecumenical organisations have announced their attendance. However, the presence of His Holiness Bartholomew I is of historic significance.

Considered “first among equals” in the Eastern Orthodox Communion, the Patriarch of Constantinople has not attended the installation of a Pope of Rome in more than 950 years, since Constantinople split from Rome in 1054.

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