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Monday, 1 April 2013
Pope Francis Shocks The World By Walking Into Crowd In Rome
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Walking up to crowds, shaking hands with surprised bystanders in the street, mixing his formal speeches with off-the-cuff remarks, Pope Francis stamped his own style on the papacy Sunday.
His humor and down-to-earth manner captivated many of 150,000 people who filled St. Peter's Square in Rome to overflowing, and he embraced the crowd in a way that had to give his security staff palpitations.
"Brothers and sisters, 'Buon giorno,'" Francis said in Italian in his first welcome from the window of the papal residence, setting an informal tone that has become the defining spirit of his young papacy.
Earlier Sunday, he made an impromptu appearance before the public from a side gate of the Vatican that startled passers-by and prompted cheers as he shook hands and kissed babies. He then went back inside to deliver a six minute homily — brief by church standards — at the Vatican's tiny parish church, St. Anna.