March 19, 2013

Pope Francis: Protect the poor and nature

The Associated Press

(Continued from page 2)

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Pope Francis walks past the alter in front of St. Peter's Basilica in St. Peter's Square following his inauguration Mass at the Vatican.

AP

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Pope Francis reaches out to touch a child as he arrives to his inauguration Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Tuesday.

AP

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Unlike his predecessors, he did so in just his white cassock, not the red cape.

Among the religious VIPs attending was the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, Bartholomew I, who became the first patriarch from the Istanbul-based church to attend a papal investiture since the two branches of Christianity split nearly 1,000 years ago. Also attending for the first time was the chief rabbi of Rome. Their presence underscores the broad hopes for ecumenical and interfaith dialogue in this new papacy, given Francis' own work for improved relations.

In a gesture to Christians in the East, the pope prayed with Eastern rite Catholic patriarchs and archbishops before the tomb of St. Peter at the start of the Mass, and the Gospel was chanted in Greek rather than the traditional Latin.

But it is Francis' history of living with the poor and working for them while archbishop of Buenos Aires that seems to resonate with ordinary Catholics who say they are hopeful that Francis can inspire a new generation of faithful who have fallen away from the church.

"As an Argentine, he was our cardinal. It's a great joy for us," said Edoardo Fernandez Mendia, an Argentine who was in the crowd. "I would have never imagined that it was going to be him."

Recalling another great moment in Argentine history, when soccer great Diego Maradona scored an improbable goal in the 1986 World Cup, he said: "And for the second time, the Hand of God came to Argentina.

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Additional Photos

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Pope Francis waves to crowds as he arrives to his inauguration Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Tuesday. Pope Francis urged world leaders and ordinary people to protect the environment, the weakest and the poorest.

AP

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Pope Francis stands at the steps of St. Peter's Basilica during his inaugural Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Tuesday.

AP

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Pope Francis waves upon his arrival in St. Peter's Square for his inaugural Mass, at the Vatican on Tuesday.

AP

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Crowds gather in St. Peter's Square for the inauguration Mass for Pope Francis at the Vatican on Tuesday.

AP

  


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