Rome: In a rare event, newly elected Pope Francis of Argentina on Saturday met his predecessor for lunch in a palace at Castel Gandolfo, as per BBC report. For the first time such a meeting has been made possible after Pope Benedict XVI resigned from his post.
This is a first meeting between a presiding Pope and his predecessor as no other record of any such meeting ever taking place exists, as per report.
Benedict, who is the first pope to resign in 600 years, is known as ‘pope emeritus’ after stepping down. Since then, he has been living in temporary residence at Castel Gandolfo.
After Pope Francis officially began his papacy, he urged to protect and respect each and every creature, especially the poorest and the weakest "who are often the last we think about".
Pope Francis, who is the first Jesuit Pope ever and derives his name from 13th century St. Francis of Assissi, made a strong case for caring and showing love and respect the downtrodden in his homily.
Outlining his priorities as a leader of 1.2 billion Catholics, Pope Francis said the role of the pope is to open his arms and protect all of humanity, but "especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison."