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Cardinals Say New Pope Remains Down-To-Earth, 2 Months In

Jay Levine Jay Levine
Jay Levine is the chief correspondent for CBS 2 Chicago. He joined...
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(CBS) -- He has been in office for just over 2 months, but already pope Francis has put his own personal stamp on the papacy.

He has ignored many trappings and traditions while concentrating preaching and prayer.

“That’s a little bit South American in some ways, more relaxed and not standing on ceremony,” Chicago’s Francis Cardinal George tells CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine.

The new pope delayed a move into the papal apartments, instead remaining at the Vatican guest house, where he celebrates Mass for workers and others each morning.

“It’s likely to influence the papacy probably forever,” says Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, who is in Chicago this week.

The pope is the same as he was when he introduced himself to the world with the now familiar “Buona sera,” or good evening. By that time, he’d already shown his former fellow cardinals that he’d be different.

Turkson says the new pope does not expect Cardinals to kiss his ring. Rather, he hugs them.

“It’s as if we’re still the same brothers we were,” he says.

But while the differences were clear from the start, Cardinal George believes it’s too early to draw any firm conclusions about what kind of pope he’ll be.

“We’ll see what happens,” George says.

What the cardinals were banking on was an outsider who’d change the way the church was run. But that hasn’t happened — yet. Pope Francis is waiting for a report from a commission before making key appointments or the reforms many feel are long overdue.