VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis has officially begun his ministry as the 266th pope, receiving the ring symbolizing the papacy and a wool stole symbolizing his role as shepherd of his 1.2-billion strong flock.
A cardinal intoned the rite of inauguration at the start of Tuesday's Mass, saying "The Good Shepherd charged Peter to feed his lambs and his sheep; today you succeed him as the bishop of this church."
Later a half-dozen cardinals approached the Argentine-born pope to vow their obedience.
The installation occurred in sun-drenched St. Peter's Square before tens of thousands of people, princes, sheiks, rabbis and presidents.
By NICOLE WINFIELD
The Associated Press