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Rome Reports

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A look at Benedict XVI first week as Pope

CARD. RICARDO VIDAL

“We were so happy, we said we finally have a Holy Father.” ;

The next morning, they all filed back into the Sistine Chapel for the Pope’s first mass. ;

The next day, it was back to his old office to see his former staff. As a farewell gift, they presented him with a box of candy. The message inside: thanks for your sweetness. ;

There were a few surprises too, like Friday’s visit to his apartment to help pack up his belongings. As they had done in the days before, the crowds warmly welcomed their new pope. ;

Saturday, he had his first meeting with journalists. He thanked them for their hard work in bringing the events of the past month to so many Catholics around the world. Then, the big day, Sunday, the inauguration and the official start of his pontificate. ;

Again, the people clapped and cheered, they shouted "Viva il Papa," ;long live the Pope, a sentiment we’d only heard for one man for so long. But now they were cheering for him. As the week went on, he was visibly more relaxed. His words grew increasingly warm and his sense of humour began to show. ;

On Monday’s visit with German pilgrims he apologised for being late, saying that while punctuality was a hallmark of his people, having lived in Italy for 23 years has perhaps made him a little Italianized. ;

His first week ended with a visit to the tomb of St. Paul, the great evangelizing apostle who brought the message of Christ to the world. A job Benedict XVI now wants to make a priority.