Francis makes 1st window appearance of papacy
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Breaking with tradition, Pope Francis delivered off-the-cuff remarks about God's power to forgive instead of reading from a written speech for the first Sunday window appearance of his papacy.
He also spoke only in Italian — beginning with "buon giorno" (Good day) and ending with "buon pranzo" (Have a good lunch) — instead of greeting the faithful in several languages as his last few predecessors had done.
His comments and humor delighted a crowd of more than 150,000 in St. Peter's Square, drawing cheers and laughter.
In just five days, Francis' straightforward, spontaneous style has become immediate hallmark of his papacy.
Earlier Sunday, he made an impromptu appearance before the public from a side gate of the Vatican, startling passers-by and prompting cheers, before delivering a six minute homily — brief by church standards — at the Vatican's tiny parish church.
Before he entered St. Anna's church to celebrate Mass, he heartily shook hands with parishioners and kissed babies.
After Mass, Francis put his security detail to the test as he waded into the street just outside St. Anna's Gate. As the traffic light at the intersection turned green, Francis stepped up to the crowd, grasping outstretched hands. The atmosphere was so casual that several people even gripped Francis on the shoulder.