Impulsive Pope Francis keeps security detail busy at inauguration

| March 29, 2013

Pope Francis was at it again on Tuesday when, during a huge inaugural Mass in St Peter's, he suddenly ordered the driver of his Popemobile to stop, climbed down from the shining white vehicle and kissed and blessed a severely disabled man in the middle of a crowd of around 100,000 people.

Officers from the Vatican Gendarmerie have struggled to keep up with the former archbishop of Buenos Aires since his election last Wednesday, but his spontaneous decision to hop down from the vehicle must have sent them to new levels of angst.

The impromptu gesture, in keeping with Francis's informality and humility, came as the Catholic Church celebrated the official start of his "Petrine ministry" with a day filled with pomp and ceremony.

The new Pope set out his vision for his papacy and the Church as a whole by calling for greater compassion for the poor, the dispossessed and the downtrodden.

In a strongly worded homily delivered from a stage in front of St Peter's, he urged the world to shun "the omens of destruction and death".

He called on humanity to "show loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about."

He appealed to world leaders to make the protection of the environment a stronger priority.

"I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be "guardians" of Creation, protectors of God's plan inscribed in nature."

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Category: Church Security

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