It’s official: there's a new pope in town. Pope Francis held his inaugural mass on Tuesday with up to 1 million pilgrims -- including Joe Biden and Robert Mugabe -- in the Vatican. Francis, the first Jesuit pope, received spontaneous applause as he was giving a homily about how “hatred, envy, and pride defile our lives” and ended by asking people to pray for him. Francis received his papal palladium made of lamb’s wool and the “fisherman’s ring” bearing the image of St. Peter, officially making him the 266th pope. Francis then received the obedience of the cardinals and the mass officially began. He proved his dedication to the mass was no joke as he exited the popemobile and kissed a disabled man as part of his trip around through the crowd.
The Vatican said between 150,000-200,000 people attended the Mass, held under bright blue skies after days of chilly rain and featuring flag-waving fans from around the world. In Buenos Aires, thousands of people packed the central Plaza di Mayo square to watch the celebration on giant TV screens and erupted in joy when Francis called them from Rome, his words broadcast to the crowd over loudspeakers.
"I want to ask a favor," Francis told them. "I want to ask you to walk together, and take care of one another. ... And don't forget that this bishop who is far away loves you very much. Pray for me."
Back in Rome, Francis was interrupted by applause several times during his homily, including when he spoke of the need to protect the environment, serve one another with love and not allow "omens of destruction," hatred, envy and pride to "defile our lives."
Francis said the role of the pope is to open his arms and protect all of humanity, but "especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison."
According to the Vatican, including U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, there were six sovereign rulers, 31 heads of state, three princes and 11 heads of government in attendance.
Francis directed his homily to them, saying: "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 protectors of creation, protectors of God's plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment."