VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis urged princes, presidents, sheiks and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass on Tuesday to protect the environment, the weakest and the poorest, mapping out a clear focus of his priorities as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.
The Argentina native is the first pope from Latin American and the first named for the 13th-century friar St. Francis of Assisi, whose life's work was to care for nature, the poor and most disadvantaged. In a fitting note, he promised that a little bit of tenderness can "open up a horizon of hope."
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Francis was interrupted by applause several times during his homily, including when he spoke of the need to protect the environment, serve one another with love and tenderness and not allow "omens of destruction," hatred, envy and pride to "defile our lives."