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Pope Benedict XVI formally installed

April 24, 2005 19:02 IST

Pope Benedict XVI was formally installed as the 265th Pope in St Peter's Square in Rome on Sunday.

Thousands of pilgrims, religious and world leaders were present during the formal installation.

Benedict XVI wore golden vestments and held his pastoral staff. He started the ceremony by visiting the site of St Peter's tomb, underneath the St Peter's Basilica, to pay homage to the first Pope.

The Pope was presented with the symbols of power -- the Papal ring and the pallium (a narrow stole of wool).

Dignitaries who attended the function included German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, Spanish King Juan Carlos, Prince Albert II of Monaco and Florida Governor and US President George Bush's brother Jeb Bush. The Pope's elder brother, 81-year old Reverend Georg Ratzinger, also attended the ceremony.

An estimated 100,000 pilgrims from the Pope's native Germany gathered for the ceremony and waved the German flag.

Benedict's predecessor, Pope John Paul II's funeral was conducted on April 8.

The new pontiff was crowned with a special tiara and carried around the square in a wooden chair.

After the mass, Benedict XVI was driven around in a car known as the 'popemobile', which the Vatican claimed was different from the one used by the late John Paul II.

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