Vatican City: Pope Francis, giving his clearest indication yet that he wants a more austere Catholic Church, said on Saturday that it should be poor and remember that its mission is to serve the poor.

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The Pope made his comments in an audience with journalists, explaining why he chose to take the name Francis, after St. Francis of Assisi, a symbol of peace, austerity and poverty. He called Francis "The man who gives us this spirit of peace, the poor man," and added "How I would like a poor Church, and for the poor".

Since his shock election on Wednesday, the Pope has made clear that he would be introducing a different style to the papacy following the resignation of Pope Benedict last month. On the night he was elected he shunned the papal limousine and travelled on a bus with other cardinals who had elected him.

The next day he returned to the Church-run hotel where he had been staying before the conclave and insisted on paying the bill. In other parts of his Italian address, much of it unscripted, he said that Catholics should remember that Jesus is the centre of the Church and not the Pope.

Francis is taking the helm of the 1.2 billion-member Church at a time of crisis over the worldwide sexual abuse scandal as well as scandals involving intrigue and alleged corruption in the Vatican bureaucracy. He said the Church, like any institution, had "virtues and sins" and urged journalists to focus on "truth, goodness and beauty" in the course of their work.

Pope to visit Benedict next Saturday
    
The Vatican says Pope Francis will visit his predecessor next Saturday. The Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said Francis will call on Benedict XVI at the Castel Gandolfo papal retreat in the hills south of Rome. The visit will be significant given the novelty of having a reigning and retired pope side-by-side. Benedict resigned February 28, the first pontiff in 600 years to step down. Francis was elected on Wednesday.

Argentine grandmothers attack Pope

An Argentinean human rights group set up to find babies stolen during the country's "Dirty War" accused newly elected Pope Francis of failing to speak out against the country's former military rulers.
    
The famous Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo organization, founded in 1977 to help locate children kidnapped during the military era, on Friday said that Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, had not done enough to help victims of rights abuses. The criticism came amid heightened scrutiny of Pope Francis's actions during Argentina's "Dirty War" in which 30,000 people died or disappeared from 1976 to 1983.
    
Earlier on Friday, the Vatican rejected claims Pope Francis had failed to do all he could to protect two priests kidnapped and tortured during military rule, when he was head of the Jesuit order in Argentina at the time. However the head of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, Estela Carlotto, joined the chorus of criticism surrounding the new pontiff. "The Grandmothers have reproaches for the new pontiff," Carlotto told reporters. "He has never spoken of the problem of people who had disappeared under dictatorial rule, and 30 years have already passed since our return to democracy."
    
Carlotto's daughter, Laura, was abducted and killed during military rule after being taken to a secret detention center. A baby boy she gave birth to while in custody has never been found. Carlotto said she had expected the Argentinian clergy to help during the years of rights abuses. "I am a Catholic, and many of us sought help from the church in the first years of dictatorship because we believed that bishops were on our side," said Carlotto. But she said the church hierarchy had "deeply disappointed" her.
    
In 2010, Bergoglio was questioned as a witness by judges probing the arrest and torture of the two young Jesuits. Bergoglio, the first pope from Latin America, was alleged to have betrayed the young missionaries to the regime because they had become opposition sympathizers and he wanted to preserve the Jesuits' political neutrality. The Vatican on Friday rejected the claims, saying the accusations were politically motivated smears from the "anti-clerical" left.

(Agencies)

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Pope to visit Benedict next Saturday
    
The Vatican says Pope Francis will visit his predecessor next Saturday. The Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said Francis will call on Benedict XVI at the Castel Gandolfo papal retreat in the hills south of Rome.
    
The visit will be significant given the novelty of having a reigning and retired pope side-by-side. Benedict resigned February 28, the first pontiff in 600 years to step down. Francis was elected on Wednesday.