Pope Francis urges protection of nature, weak

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Pope Francis urges protection of environment, weakest in society

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis laid out the priorities of his pontificate during his installation Mass today, urging the thousands attending to protect the environment, the weakest and the poorest, and to let tenderness “open up a horizon of hope.”

It was a message Francis has hinted at in his first week as pontiff, when his gestures of simplicity often spoke louder than his words. “Please,” he said. “Let us be protectors of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.”

Francis said the role of the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics is to open his arms and protect all of humanity, but “especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison.”

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