Thousands Pack St. Peter's Square for Pope Francis' Inaugural Mass


"There will be a lot of people, but I have no worries whatsoever about the way that they do security, the way that they provide protection. It is never in people's faces, never to drive people away," Vatican spokesman Father Thomas Rosica said. "They try to accommodate as many people as possible, always concerned for their safety."

Estimates in Rome about the possible attendance ranged up to 1 million people. For a pope who has proven exceedingly popular ever since his historic election last week, such a turnout would have been impressive, but not surprising.

"Rome has felt so empty since Pope Emeritus Benedict made his announcement and now it feels full again," said Jennifer Uebbing, an American now living in Rome, after Pope Francis' first Angelus Sunday. "He has a new grace and a fatherly way about him."

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