Pope Francis issued an appeal for the protection of the weak, the poor and the world environment Tuesday at a special Mass marking his inauguration as the new leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.

During the homily, he told a crowd of up to 200,000 gathered in front of the Vatican: “I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: Let us be protectors of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.”

He added: “We must not be afraid of goodness or even tenderness.”

 

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