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

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid