Transcript for Pope Francis Celebrates First Easter Holiday as Pontiff
Our thanks to you. Hopeful words from pope francis as he celebrated mass on the steps of st. Peter's today, speaking for his hope for peace in syria and north korea. It's what the pope did with the people outside the vatican that resonated with catholics across the globe. Abc's alex perez in rome for us this evening. Reporter: Proving again that his papacy will be different and personal, pope francis joined the crowd at st. Peter's square easter sunday, smiling, embracing the faithful. At one point, accepting a soccer jersey of a popular team in his native argentina. And stopping for poignant moments like this one, when he embraced and kissed a disabled child. A massive estimated crowd of 250,000 packed the square. A sign, experts say, of the pope's appeal. You have to really go back to the funeral of john paul ii in 2005, or maybe the beatification of john paul ii after his death, to find crowds similar to this. Reporter: Many arrived before sunrise just to see francis celebrate his first easter mass as pope. ♪ in the three weeks since he was appointed, the 76-year-old has angered some conservatives in the church, who argue he should act more like his predecessors. But for many, his style is a step in the right direction. I just think people are ready for a change. I do. And they're hoping that he brings some change. Reporter: And that renewed support is the shot in the arm new york's cardinal timothy dolan believes the church desperately needed. He brings us back to the simplicity, the sincerity, just the raw basic goodness of the gospel. Reporter: And so many people on this square told me they were here today because they wanted to be part of history. The pope ended the celebration by calling for, quote, peace for
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