Pope Francis greeted 132 delegates from across the world today at his inauguration including Vice President Joe Biden.
Pope Francis called for the defense of the weakest in society at his inaugural mass today in St. Peter’s Basilica.
Pope Francis inaugurated his papacy on Tuesday with an address calling for the defense of the weakest in society and of the environment, saying that otherwise the way was opened to death and destruction.
Addressing an estimated 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 Mass on the steps of the giant St. Peter’s Basilica was simpler than the baroque splendor of his predecessor Benedict’s inauguration in 2005.
The Church’s mission “means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live. It means protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about”, he said in the homily.
Francis, the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, took his name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, a symbol of poverty, simplicity, charity and love of nature.