Pope Francis’ inauguration mass draws thousands to Vatican

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Six days after Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as the new head of the Catholic Church, the newly dubbed Pope Francis was formally installed as the church’s next pontiff. Addressing thousands of people at his inauguration mass at the Vatican, the first Latin American pope delivered a homily on the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Pope sets tone for humbler papacy, calls for defense of the weak
Philip Pullella and Catherine Hornby, Reuters
9:05 a.m. EDT, March 19, 2013

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis set the tone for a new, humbler papacy on Tuesday with a call for the defense of the weak and the environment, saying this was the way to prevent the triumph of death and destruction.

Addressing up to 200,000 people and many foreign leaders gathered under bright sunshine in St. Peter’s Square, the Argentine pope underlined his constant message since he was elected by a secret conclave of cardinals last Wednesday – that the Church’s mission was to defend the poor and disadvantaged.

In line with this message, the inaugural Mass on the steps of the giant St. Peter’s Basilica was much simpler and an hour shorter than the baroque splendor of his predecessor Benedict’s inauguration in 2005.

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