By Balitang America Staff

March 15, 2013

Before flying to Rome a few weeks ago for the conclave, then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina brushed aside the idea that he might be picked as the new pontiff due to his age.

“I have no chance of being pope,” he told a columnist for the Argentinian newspaper La Nacion. “My age counts against me this time,” according to reports from the Los Angeles Times.

Vatican observers said they are concerned about Pope Francis’ age since he is only 2 years younger than his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI who retired last month due to his advanced age.

But prelates and analysts alike said Thursday that age was not a factor — at least not a negative one, in the election of Bergoglio, the first occupant of the Holy See to come from the Americas and the first non-European to hold the post in 1,300 years.

On his second day in office, during his meeting with cardinals at the Vatican, he stumbled on a step in the Sala Clementina. The pope’s left shoe reportedly had become entangled in his flowing white robe. He quickly regained his footing.

Tour of new office

The pope was given a tour of his new office in the Vatican.

On Thursday evening, Pope Francis was given a silver colored key to unlock the doors of the papal office.

The new leader of the Catholic church toured his new work area and meeting rooms.

He is still expected to stay at the hotel inside the Vatican for a few more weeks, until his private quarters have been fully renovated.

– With reports from The Los Angeles Times and Associated Press

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