Pope Francis installed as bishop of Rome

Pope Francis formally took possession of the Basilica of St John Lateran, the official seat of the Bishop of Rome, on Sunday 7 April.

Large crowds attended the two-hour ceremony which completed the pope’s installation as bishop of Rome following his election on 13 March.

The pope arrived in Piazza S. Giovanni early to bless a plaque renaming a corner of the square Largo Giovanni Paolo II after Blessed John Paul II, who died eight years ago but remains an extremely popular figure in Rome.

Pope Francis was dressed in a plain white cassock, and there was less pomp than previous editions of the centuries-old ritual.

After the ceremony the pope spent much time meeting and embracing disabled and elderly people in the cathedral, while outside thousands cheered as he greeted the crowds from his open-topped car.

Since his election as pontiff, Francis has embraced his role as Bishop of Rome and so far has referred to himself as “bishop” more often than “pope”.

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