In First Day As Leader Of Church, Pope Pays Hotel Bill - New York News

In First Day As Leader Of Church, Pope Pays Hotel Bill, Celebrates First Mass

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ROME -

In his first day as leader of the Catholic church, Pope Francis left the Vatican grounds in a car that wasn't a limousine and proceeded to a nearby hotel to pick up his luggage and pay the bill for the room he occupied over the last several days.

The pope also prayed and, along the way, waved to passing children before arriving at the Vila della Scrofa.

"He decided to stop at the Via della Scrofa, the Priests' Residence, right near Piazza navona. He wanted to get his luggage and his bags," Vatican spokesman Thomas Rosica told reporters Thursday.

The Vatican says a trip planned to visit his predecessor, Benedict XVI, was rescheduled for another day. Instead, Pope Francis spent time preparing for his first mass in the Sistine Chapel before his cardinal electors and a crowd, which watched mass on large TVs placed in St. Peter's Square.

As he presided over mass, another first for the first Pope Francis, he said his homily in Italian instead of the traditional Latin.

The Vatican urged people not to try to determine what the new pope's priorities were based on one homily alone, but to instead reflect on his first few.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan of New York on Thursday said Pope Francis will provide a booster shot to the church in the Americas.

"Where he comes from is gravy, and we got a lot of good gravy with a man coming now from Latin American. You're talking about a booster shot to the church in the Americas. This is going to be a real blessing," Cardinal Dolan said.

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