Timeline: The first year of the papacy of Francis

Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:35am EDT
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Vatican City (Reuters) - Thursday, March 13 marks the first anniversary of the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina as Pope Francis, the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years.

Below is a timeline of the major events since then and the key decisions he has made.

March 14: On the morning after his election, the pope makes a surprise visit to the Rome hotel for clerics where he was staying before his election and pays the bill.

March 15: Pope tells his fellow Argentines not to travel to Rome for his inaugural, urging them to give the money to the poor instead. One headline: 'Don't fly for me Argentina'.

March 16: In an address to journalists, the pope gives his first clear indication he wants a more austere Church, saying "Oh, how I would like a poor Church, and for the poor."

March 19: In his inaugural Mass, Francis sets the tone for a humbler papacy; he issues a strong appeal for the protection of the environment and the defense of the weakest.

March 23 - A reigning pope and a former pope face each other for the first time in at least 600 years when Francis travels south of Rome to meet his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict


March 26: Pope decides not to move into the spacious and regal papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace, opting to stay in a simple guest house with other tenants.   Continued...