Francis urges leaders to shun ‘destruction’


Pope Francis celebrates his inaugural Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

VATICAN CITY—Pope Francis on Tuesday vowed to embrace the world’s most vulnerable and called on economic and political leaders to shun “destruction” at his inaugural mass in St. Peter’s Square.

The pope must “open his arms to protect all of God’s people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important,” Francis said.

“He must be inspired by lowly, concrete and faithful service,” said Francis, the first Jesuit pope and the first from Latin America.

“I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life … Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world!” he added.

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