ROME — Under blue skies, Pope Francis at his investiture Mass today at St. Peter's Square called on international state officials there to be "protectors of one another and of the environment...We must not be afraid of goodness or even tenderness."
An estimated 200,000 people packed the square and streets surrounding the basilica.
The pope's sermon, amid the beauty and solemnity of a Latin Mass, spoke specifically to representatives of governments seated aside the altar, from US Vice President Joe Biden to Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe.
"I would ask to all of those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill,” he said. “Let us be 'protectors' of creation, protectors of God's plan inscribed in nature...keeping watch over our emotions, over our hearts."