Vatican City, April 22 (Reuters): Pope Benedict wants to serve rather than be honoured during his papacy, he said today, asking cardinals to help him overcome his weaknesses as he leads the Catholic church.
At his first audience since he was elected on Tuesday, the Pope greeted each of the 'princes' of the church by name, a fatherly smile on his face. 'This is not about being honoured but rather about a service that needs to be carried out with simplicity and dedication,' the Pope told the cardinals.
'I thank you for the faith you have put in me, which encourages me to take on this new mission with serenity,' he said. 'I beg you. Never deprive me of your support!'
When the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger greeted the crowds as Pope for the first time, he called himself a 'simple, humble worker in the Lord's vineyard' and at a Mass with cardinals this week made frequent mention of his inadequacy and weakness.
On Friday, the 78-year-old German again referred to his human frailty and 'my limits as a man and in my abilities'.