New pope slips out of Vatican for morning prayer visit

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Newly elected Pope Francis I, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, makes a private visit to the 5th-century Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in RomeBy Philip Pullella and Crispian Balmer VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis, barely 12 hours after his election, quietly left the Vatican early on Thursday to pray for guidance as he looks to usher a Roman Catholic Church mired in intrigue and scandal into a new age of simplicity and humility. Francis, the Argentinian cardinal who has become the first pope born outside Europe in 1,300 years, went to Rome's 5th-century Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore; there he prayed before a famed icon of Mary, the mother of Jesus, which is known as the Salus Populi Romani, or Protectress of the Roman …

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