Argentineans cheer for Pope Francis - their local boy made good shepherd
Tuesday 19 March 2013
The joke doing the rounds in Buenos Aires at the moment is that porteños, as locals here are known, care more about football than the new Pope. But following the surprise appointment of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, as the new Bishop of Rome last week, Argentineans have clearly warmed to the idea of having their own pontiff. Thousands of people packed the capital’s main square over the past two days to celebrate Francis’s inauguration.
All aspects of life here seem to link back to the beautiful game, and the mood on Monday evening was every inch the stadium spectacle, a mixture of chanting, clapping and festive mood. The city was determined to put on a show, draping yellow and white Vatican flags from government buildings, alongside the light blue and white Argentinean national colours, and erecting giant screens with a live stream from the Vatican.
Teenagers came in their droves for the all-night vigil that began on Monday evening and ran through to the papal ceremony that began just after 5am local time. “The young people are really important,” said Candelaria Ramos, 20, a student who had headed downtown with other friends from Catholic Action Argentina. “It’s great to see so many teenagers here who care about the Church and the pope. It is overwhelming.”
At 3.30am, the faithful received an unexpected phone call from the Pope himself, broadcast on loudspeakers. He thanked the crowd for “having got together to pray” before telling them to “look after each other”. As he finished, chants of “Viva el Papa!” broke out.
For Oscar Luis, 59, dressed in a Pope cap and T-shirt, the inauguration of Francis was an important step for his country. “I’m very proud. Argentina has been reborn with this Pope,” he said. “Many people here have left the Church, but with him there [in the Vatican] something extraordinary can happen.”
- 4 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
- 5 New Tricks: Dennis Waterman to leave the show after a decade of crime-solving
Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Ice Bucket Challenge: US firefighter Tony Grider dies after participating in charity craze near power lines
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...