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Pope wades into crowd before 1st window appearance

3 years 6 months 1 week ago March 17, 2013 Mar 17, 2013 Sunday, March 17 2013 March 17, 2013 10:31 AM in News
By: Associated Press

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis's straightforward, spontaneous style is quickly becoming the hallmark of his papacy.

On his first Sunday as pontiff, Francis startled crowds on the streets around the Vatican when he walked out a side gate to shake hands. He then celebrated Mass at the Vatican's tiny parish church St. Anna's, delivering a relatively brief six minute homily.

After Mass, Francis again put his security detail to the test, wading into the street just outside St. Anna's Gate and stepping up to the crowd to grasp outstretched hands. The atmosphere was so casual that several people even gripped Francis on the shoulder.

Later, he delighted a crowd of more than 100,000 in St. Peter's Square when he delivered off-the-cuff remarks about God's power to forgive instead of reading from a written speech during the first Sunday window appearance of his papacy. He also spoke only in Italian, instead of in several languages as his last few predecessors had done, telling the faithful "have a good lunch" at the end of his remarks.

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