Pope Francis Holds Inaugural Mass, His Diplomatic Skills are Being Put to Test
Hundreds of thousands of people -- from European royalty and heads of state to spiritual leaders of multiple faiths -- gathered at St. Peter's Square for the newly elected Pope's inaugural mass.
Among them was Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew from Istanbul, marking the first time a spiritual leader from the Orthodox Christian Church is attending a Roman pope's inaugural Mass since 1054.
"A pope must embrace the whole of humanity with tender affection, especially the poorest, the weakest and the least important."
As host of the event, Pope Francis's diplomatic skills were put to test.
Inaugural masses are typically straddle the line between religion and politics.
On the eve of the mass Argentine President Cristina Fernandez asked Pope Francis to intervene in the long-running dispute between Argentina and Britain over the Falkland Islands, also called Malvinas in Argentina.
"We have spoken on the subject, which is strongly felt by we Argentines and by my presidency. And I have solicited his intervention to acheive dialogue on the issue of the Malvinas."
There has been no comment from the Vatican on whether the Argentine-born pope will honor her request.
There is reason to believe he could.
He was previously quoted as saying that Britain "usurped" the disputed Islands in 2012.
But doing that would draw him into a messy political fight in which he, and the Vatican, may not want to become involved.
Last week, British Prime Minister David Cameron said the pope was wrong to say that, adding that the people of the islands had made their views clear in a referendum last week, in which they almost unanimously voted in favor of remaining a British overseas territory.
Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News.
Reporter : Lian.firstname.lastname@example.org