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Eight Things You Might Have Missed At Pope Francis Inauguration



VATICAN CITY- The inauguration of Pope Francis took place Tuesday morning in St. Peter’s Square before a sea of simple faithful and heads of state from around the world. Babies were kissed, flags were flown, and the Vatican rolled out its open-top white papal jeep. Here’s the 9 most interesting things that happened this morning.

MASS AND MASSES An estimated 150,000 people attended in Rome, while back in his hometown of Buenos Aires, a reported 40,000 watched on giant screens in the Plaza de Mayo, reports Clarin.

Wow. 12:37 AM. Plaza de Mayo doesn't sleep tonight as thousands await the inauguration of Pope Francis. twitter.com/KekyCG/status/… (Via @kekycg)

— Adrian Bono (@AdrianBono) March 19, 2013

HATS! People from all over the world came to see the inauguration of the first Jesuit and Latin American pontiff.

It's true! People from all nations were here in the square! #LoveUniversalChurch twitter.com/CatholicNewsSv…

— Catholic News Svc (@CatholicNewsSvc) March 19, 2013

FÚTBOL In a role reversal, Jorge Bergoglio’s beloved soccer team San Lorenzo de Almagro were cheering for him today.

Foto del trapito de la peña en Italia ! #Francisco #AsuncióndelPAPA @diegobus77 @marufernandez_ twitter.com/loreboky/statu…

— ♥LORE♥(@loreboky) March 19, 2013

ST. FRANCISIn his homily Pope Francis stated that all of creation should be protected, including nature, animals and the environment: “The vocation of being a “protector”, however, is not just something involving us Christians alone; it also has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live ... Be protectors of God’s gifts!Entire text in English here

ST. JOSEPH The happiest dignitary present was definitely U.S. VP Joe Biden, himself a Roman Catholic. Today also happens to be St. Joseph’s Day, who featured in Francis’ protection themed homily where he urged the faithful to protect everyone; ourselves, each other and all of creation.

#pope meets US Vice-President Joe Biden twitter.com/CatholicNewsSv…

— Catholic News Svc (@CatholicNewsSvc) March 19, 2013

NOT ST. ROBERT Everything wasn't holy in the piazza. Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, who is not allowed to travel in European Union territory, did make it onto Vatican soil for the festivities.

Vatican said everyone could come, no one barred, so here's Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and wife with #pope twitter.com/CatholicNewsSv…

— Catholic News Svc (@CatholicNewsSvc) March 19, 2013

SHOES Wearing his trusty black shoes instead of the traditional red pair, after the mass the pope changed out of his ceremonial vestments into a plain white cassock to greet the representatives and dignitaries.

SOCIAL SERVICE As if he didn’t have enough to do today, Pope Francis even found a moment to tweet messages to his 2,043,451 English followers.

Let us keep a place for Christ in our lives, let us care for one another and let us be loving custodians of creation.

— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) March 19, 2013

True power is service.The Pope must serve all people, especially the poor, the weak, the vulnerable.

— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) March 19, 2013

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Migrant Lives

Lampedusa, The Far Right's Favorite European Island

The European migrant crisis is once again making headlines, this time from the small island of Lampedusa, Italy. It exposes not only the far right's eagerness to exploit the issue of immigration, but also the delicate balance of power in electoral terms.

Photograph of migrants who have recently arrived to Lampedusa, standing in line as they wait to be transferred someplace else.

September 13, Lampedusa: Migrants arrive to the island await transferral.

Elio Desiderio/ZUMA


PARIS — Europe is facing a new test of its unity and strength. In recent years, it had to tackle challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This time, the test comes from the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa.

This 20 square-kilometer island saw more migrants arrive last week than it has inhabitants, some 8500 people, largely from Tunisia, arriving on 200 boats. While this is a large number for the island to handle, it's s important to have perspective before using terms such as "invasion." We are far from the numbers seen in 2015 when one million migrants arrived, particularly from Syria.

The issue is humanitarian, but also, ultimately, political. It challenges the hard line on immigration of Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, and her coalition that spans from center-right to far-right allies. The arrival of migrants en masse serves as an ideal opportunity for political exploitation as the campaign for the European elections begins. It also disrupts the shaky migration policy of the European Union and the agreement narrowly reached in June.

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