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5 ways Pope Francis changed the Vatican and how you can visit

Pope Francis has already shook up the Vatican and brought the sweeping change to the Catholic Church in only two years of office. He is the first Jesuit, non-European, South American Pope in over 1.000 years!

The new pope was chosen in 2013 conclave. Yes to the poor and in honor of St. Francis of Assisi Pope Francis chose his name, as a constant reminder to never forget the poor and a sign of his obligation and concern for the wellbeing of the most needed. On the night of his election he made his way back to the hotel on the bus with the other cardinals, rather than in the papal car and he decided against living in the Apostolic Palace, living instead in a Vatican guest house.

The Pope addressed to “The Big Bang Theory” saying that “does not contradict the creative intervention of God…On the contrary, it requires it.” For him, science answers “how” and religion focuses on the “why.” Said yes to inclusiveness, regardless of a severely divided conference of Catholic Bishops called upon by Pope Francis, the Catholic Church eventually did open its doors a bit more to homosexuals.

Even though gay marriage is still unalterably ruled out, the meeting signified a more open approach to homosexual families, stating that gays be “welcomed with respect and delicacy.” A detached message from the bishops delivered to Christian families that said: “Christ wanted his church to be a house with the door always open to welcome everyone, without excluding anyone.”

To access the Vatican, you’ll have to go through security at the Petriano Entrance, on the other side of St. Peter’s Basilica’s left colonnade to enter – for details check the official Papal Audience website.  You have another opportunity to see the Pope on Sundays at noon when he is in Rome.