From the outset of his papacy, The Holy Father, Pope Francis has reached out to the poor, casting himself as the humble pope through word and gestures.
The New York Times
In the United States, he ended many of his speeches by asking the audience to “pray for me, don’t forget” — a jocular admonition in accented English. And he insisted on travelling in a small Fiat. He kissed babies. He halted his Fiat to embrace a disabled boy. He met with prisoners and leaders of other faiths at the Sept. 11 memorial, told New Yorkers struggling with inequality and isolation that “God is living in our cities,” and prayed with the homeless in Washington after canonising a saint for the first time on American soil.
His most emotional speech came Saturday night as he stood before hundreds of thousands of families from around the world, who had gathered for the World Meeting of Families. Smiling, gesticulating like an energetic grandfather, he tossed aside his script and told a simple story of love and creation that would have been impossible with the usual doctrinal footnotes.
A day later, Miss Linda Giovinco, 66, was walking toward the exits after Pope Francis’ final Mass. She said “I love the inclusiveness of this pope. He stepped outside the borders of what’s been acceptable before in the Catholic Church.”
The enormous crowd was thinning, and Pope Francis was already on his way to the airport.
While everyone in the church if not the country, was parsing what The Pope said during his visit, the faithful, including Linda Giovinco, heard unmitigated tolerance. “He’s following the original precepts of the church: Love one another.”
Extracts from Jason Horowitz and Kirk Semple’s report from Philadelphia, and Liam Stack from New York.