Pope pleads for peace, denounces greed, then greets crowd at the Vatican

Pope pleads for peace, denounces greed, then greets crowd at the Vatican

Pope pleads for peace, denounces greed, then greets crowd at the Vatican

Print
Email
|

Associated Press

Posted on March 31, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Updated Sunday, Mar 31 at 12:25 PM

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The more-than 250,000 people who gathered in St. Peter's Square on this Easter Sunday have been rewarded with a visit from the new pontiff.

After celebrating Mass, Pope Francis stepped aboard his popemobile for a spin through the crowd, kissing babies and patting children on the head. One man handed Francis a jersey for the pope's favorite soccer team in Argentina. Francis briefly held it up, and the crowd roared in approval.

In his first Easter Sunday message to the world, the pope decried the seemingly endless conflicts in the Middle East and on the Korean peninsula. Like popes before him, he urged Israelis and Palestinians to find the courage to resume peace talks and end a conflict that he said "has lasted all too long." On the Syrian crisis, he asked, "How much suffering must there still be," before there can be a political solution.

He expressed a desire for a "spirit of reconciliation" between the Koreas, at a time when North Korea says it has entered "a state of war" with the South.

And he lamented that the world is "still divided by greed looking for easy gain."

Earlier, wearing cream-colored vestments, Francis celebrated Mass in front of St. Peter's Basilica at an altar set up under a white canopy.

105-c-19-(Frances D'Emilio, AP correspondent)-"his native Argentina"-AP correspondent Frances D'Emilio reports Pope Francis ended his Easter Mass by reaching out to the people in St. Peter's Square. (31 Mar 2013)

<<CUT *105 (03/31/13)>> 00:19 "his native Argentina"

107-r-29-(Sound of Pope Francis making an Easter Sunday peace plea, in Italian, from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica)--Sound of Pope Francis making an Easter Sunday peace plea, in Italian, saying conflicts have lasted too long in Syria, and between Israelis and Palestinians. (31 Mar 2013)

<<CUT *107 (03/31/13)>> 00:29

GRAPHICSBANK: Pope Francis (c) waves from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica in celebration of Easter, Vatican, on texture, partial graphic (31 Mar 2013)

GRAPHICSBANK: Pope Francis during his first Easter Mass with incense holder, St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican, graphic element on gray (31 Mar 2013)

APPHOTO AJM128: Pope Francis delivers the Urbi et Orbi (to the city and to the world) blessing at the end of his first Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Sunday, March 31, 2013. Pope Francis celebrated his first Easter Sunday Mass as pontiff in St. Peter's Square, packed by joyous pilgrims, tourists and Romans and bedecked by spring flowers. Wearing cream-colored vestments, Francis strode onto the esplanade in front of St. Peter's Basilica and took his place at an altar set up under a white canopy. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini) (31 Mar 2013)

<<APPHOTO AJM128 (03/31/13)>>

APPHOTO AJM125: A banner reads "Pope we love you so much" as Pope Francis passes among the faithful after celebrating his first Easter Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, March 31, 2013. Pope Francis celebrated his first Easter Sunday Mass as pontiff in St. Peter's Square, packed by joyous pilgrims, tourists and Romans and bedecked by spring flowers. Wearing cream-colored vestments, Francis strode onto the esplanade in front of St. Peter's Basilica and took his place at an altar set up under a white canopy. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini) (31 Mar 2013)

<<APPHOTO AJM125 (03/31/13)>>

Print
Email
|