Francis installed as Pope: Ultimate power is service of the weak

An estimated 200,000 crammed St Peter’s Square and environs on Tuesday to participate in Pope Francis’ inauguration Mass.

Before Mass, Pope Francis toured St. Peter’s Square unprotected in a simple open white jeep, stopping frequently to greet those in the sprawling square, kissing babies and getting out at one point to bless a disabled person.

The Mass, on the Feast of St Joseph, the protector and universal patron of the Church, was a simple yet ornate ceremony lasting only two hours.

During his homily, Francis called for the protection of the weakest in society and of the environment saying that the Church’s mission was to defend the poor and disadvantaged.

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.

Francis made it clear that being a “protector”, however, is not just something involving Christians as it has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone.

Addressing the world, Pope Francis called on all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill, to be protectors of creation.

The pope said being a protector “means caring for one another in our families: husbands and wives first protect one another, and then, as parents, they care for their children, and children themselves, in time, protect their parents. It means building sincere friendships in which we protect one another in trust, respect, and goodness.”

“Only those who serve with love are able to protect,” he said

As he began his ministry as universal shepherd, Pope Francis reminded us of the need to bring hope to others and that authentic power is service, inspired by the lowly, the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison.

Pope Francis wore simple plain white vestments, trimmed with gold and brown, along with his now customary black shoes.

Before the Mass, Francis collected his newly minted gold ring and pallium, a liturgical woolen band worn around the neck, that had been placed overnight on the tomb of St Peter under the basilica’s altar.

Pope Francis’ installation Mass, formally installs Francis as the new leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.



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