News / Europe

Pope Calls on Leaders to Protect People, Environment

Pope Calls on Leaders to Protect People, Environmenti
X
March 19, 2013 4:33 PM
Pope Francis called on leaders in all fields to protect people and the environment, and to shun hatred, envy and pride - as he formally began his ministry in front of more than 100,000 people in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. Leaders from around the world attended, and millions watched and listened on television, radio and the Internet, six days after his surprise election. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Vatican City.
Al Pessin
Pope Francis called on all leaders in all fields to protect people and the environment, and to shun hatred, envy and pride as he formally began his ministry Tuesday in front of a crowd of more than 100,000 on St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.  Leaders from around the world attended, and millions watched and listened on television, radio and the Internet, six days after his surprise election. 

On a sunny spring morning, Pope Francis led the outdoor mass to mark the beginning of his papacy.

After receiving the symbols of his office, including his papal ring, he addressed what he called “all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life.”

The pope urged leaders to protect nature and all people, particularly the poorest. He said leadership and power are really about service, and that even the pope should be “lowly, concrete and faithful.”

Some analysts may interpret his remarks as serving notice on members of the Church's hierarchy who have been accused of power grabs and misconduct and those who have been shielding priests accused of sexual abuse. Many in the Church and outside are watching to see what the new pope does about the scandals. Among them is Robert Gahl, an American who is a professor of ethics at Rome's Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.

“The key thing, which is his personal stamp, which he specified already back in Buenos Aires as the archbishop there in Argentina, was to never look away when there is a problem in the diocese," said Gahl. "That the bishop is responsible for looking after especially the most vulnerable.”

  • Pope Francis waves to crowds as he arrives for his inaugural mass in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, March 19, 2013.
  • Pope Francis waves as he arrives in Saint Peter's Square for his inaugural mass at the Vatican, March 19, 2013.
  • Crowds fill Saint Peter's Square for the inaugural mass of Pope Francis at the Vatican, March 19, 2013.
  • Pope Francis reaches out for a child in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, March 19, 2013.
  • The Fisherman's Ring is placed on the finger of Pope Francis by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals, during his inaugural mass at the Vatican, March 19, 2013.
  • Pope Francis celebrates his inaugural mass in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, March 19, 2013.
  • Pope Francis receives the ring symbolizing the papacy and a wool stole symbolizing his role as shepherd of his 1.2-billion strong flock, March 19, 2013.
  • Pope Francis celebrates his inaugural mass in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, March 19, 2013.
  • Pope Francis walks past the alter in front of Saint Peter's Basilica following his inaugural mass at the Vatican, March 19, 2013.
  • Two nuns watch the crowd at Saint Peter's Square for Pope Francis' inaugural mass at the Vatican, March 19, 2013. (A. Pessin/VOA)
  • Faithful watch the inaugural mass of Pope Francis on a giant screen next to the Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 19, 2013.

The surprise choice of the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina left many experts wondering how the new pope will handle his job. But those who know him claim to have a pretty good idea, including Argentine priest Eduardo Mangirotti, who got to know the pope back home.

“He is a person of action. And we are going to see not only a person who makes gestures in front of a camera, we're going to see a person of action here in the Vatican,” said Mangirotti.

But Tuesday was a day of prayer and ceremony, with leaders of Catholic denominations from around the world paying homage, leaders of other religions paying their respects, and top world officials looking on.

Still, Pope Francis has seemed to relish more the chances he has had to interact with ordinary people. As he rode through the square on an open truck before the ceremony, he waved and smiled, and stopped to kiss babies. And when he saw a disabled man in the crowd, he stepped down to give him a personal blessing. Such moments have already become a hallmark of his papacy.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs