Pope Francis I today began his reign as leader of the Roman Catholic Church, with widespread joy in his native Argentina at the election of the first pontiff from the Americas.
The new Pope opened his first morning as pontiff by praying at Rome's main basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary barely 12 hours after being elected.
However, he has also found himself embroiled in controversy after it emerged that he was a strong supporter of Argentina's claim to the Falkland Islands, whose residents this week voted overwhelmingly to continue being ruled by the UK.
Francis faces a tough challenge in the battle to keep the Church together as it struggles with sex scandals and financial difficulties.
But despite the need for radical reform, the new Pope is usually seen as a staunch conservative who is unlikely to compromise on controversial issues such as women priests.
One of his first priorities will be managing the fallout from a secret Vatican report believed to reveal the shocking scale of mismanagement within the papacy.
The findings, which some say detail a shadowy gay cabal controlling the Vatican, are alleged to have hastened the retirement of Benedict XVI.
Before he stepped down, Benedict decreed that the document should be sealed and handed over to his successor for him to take care of.
Another burning issue within the Church is the decades of cover-ups surrounding allegations of sex abuse by Catholic priests.
Previous Popes and other senior leaders have been criticised for protecting the Church's reputation rather than providing justice for victims.
Modernisers will also urge Francis to take radical action to stem the shrinking of congregations around the world.
Some Catholics believe the Church should let priests marry, allow women to be ordained and embrace changing social mores on issues such as homosexuality.
It will doubtless be exceptionally difficult for Francis to balance the demands of liberals in the West with the interests of conservative Catholics in Africa and Asia.
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Prayer: Pope Francis I lays a wreath on the alter at the Santa Maria Maggiore basilica in Rome this morning after his election as supreme pontiff
Duties: The new Pope started the first day of his reign by showing his dedication to the Virgin Mary, mother of Christ
Grand: But Francis is keen to project a low-key image with his words and actions
Arrival: Newly elected Pope Francis I, the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina waves from the steps of the Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica in Rome this morning
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