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Pope Francis marks 10th anniversary with Mass and podcast

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 13th March, 2023 02:55:15 PM
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Pope Francis marks 10th anniversary with Mass and podcast

Pope Francis marks 10 years as head of the Roman Catholic Church on Monday celebrating Mass with cardinals in the chapel of the Vatican’s Santa Marta hotel where he has lived since his election.

The Argentina-born Francis, 86, became the first Latin American pontiff on March 13, 2013, succeeding Benedict XVI who had become the first pope in six centuries to resign.

He has invited all the cardinals who are in Rome with him to the Mass on Monday.

Francis has said he would be ready to step down if severe health problems prohibited him from running the 1.38-billion-member Church. But he has also said he thinks popes should try to reign for life and that being emeritus pope — as Benedict was — should not become a “fashion.” Benedict resigned on health grounds but lived nearly 10 more years.

With his 10 years as pontiff, Francis has now reigned longer than the 7.5 years average length of the previous 265 pontificates. He has visited 60 states and territories, clocking up almost 410,000km.

But he has not returned to his native Argentina, an absence that has prompted much speculation.