WATCH: Pope Francis meeting with Pope Emeritus Benedict delayed
Pope Francis opened his pontificate today with a visit to Rome's main basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
He made the short trip a day after cardinals elected him the first pope from the Americas.
Italy's state television says the former archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, entered the basilica through a side entrance this morning and left about 30 minutes later.
He had told a crowd of some 100,000 people packed in a rain-soaked St. Peter's Square just after his election that he
intended to pray to the Madonna "that she may watch over all of Rome.''
He told cardinals he would also call on retired Pope Benedict on Thursday and celebrate an inaugural Mass in the Sistine Chapel.
But Vatican officials now say Pope Francis won't be calling on his predecessor Thursday, but will see him another day.
Francis, the first Jesuit pope and first non-European since the Middle Ages, decided to call himself Francis after St. Francis of Assisi, the humble friar who dedicated his life to helping the poor.
(The Associated Press)