Show mercy, don't rush to condemn, new pope urges

Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:29pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis, speaking to an overflow crowd of more than 150,000 in St Peter's Square, urged the world on Sunday to be more forgiving and merciful and not so quick to condemn other people's failures.

"A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just," he told the cheering crowd from the window of the papal apartments overlooking the square.

Four days after his election, the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina spoke both as pope and as parish priest -earlier he said Mass for a few hundred Vatican workers in a tiny church just inside the city-state's walls.

Chants of "Francesco, Francesco, Francesco," the pope's name in Italian, reverberated through the square and down a long boulevard leading to the Tiber River.

Since his election on Wednesday as the first non-European pope in nearly 1,300 years, Francis has signaled a sharp change of style from his more aloof predecessor, Benedict, and laid out a clear moral path for the 1.2-billion-member Church, which is beset by scandals, intrigue and strife.

"Brothers and sisters, good morning," he said, using a familiar style that has already become his hallmark.

He wove his address from the window as well as his earlier homily around the Gospel story of the crowd that wanted to stone a woman who had committed adultery but was saved by Jesus.

Jesus told them "let he among you who is without sin, cast the first stone" and then told the woman "go and sin no more".   Continued...

Newly elected Pope Francis appears at the window of his future private apartment to bless the faithful, gathered below in St. Peter's Square, during the Sunday Angelus prayer at the Vatican March 17, 2013. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano