Dignitaries fly in for Papal inauguration

All roads are once again leading to Rome today, as heads of state and government from around the world arrive for the investiture of Pope Francis.

The Pontiff has already had a one-to-one meeting with his compatriot, Argentinian president Christina de Kirchner.

Described by the Vatican as an “informal” meeting, there was no sign of any lingering discord over the government’s stance on gay marriage and abortion.

US Vice president Joe Biden has also flown in to be at the ceremony. European heads of government are also expected.

Robert Mugabe is among the more controversial guests. The 89-year-old, a devout Catholic, is denied entry to the EU over allegations of human rights abuses. But he is allowed into the Vatican as it is a sovereign state in its own right.

300 000 people are expected to pack out St Paul’s Square and the surrounding streets for today’s ceremony. 3,000 police officers will be on duty.