March 13, 2013 / 8:54 PM / 5 years ago

Pope Francis to hold inaugural mass on March 19

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis will be officially installed as the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church on March 19, the Vatican said on Wednesday.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi also told a news conference that Francis had telephoned Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI shortly after his election, adding that he would visit him soon.

A papal inaugural mass is customarily attended by heads of state and governments.

Reporting By Philip Pullella

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