Vatican Pope

Pope Francis has been formally installed as the head of the Roman Catholic Church after his inauguration mass at the Vatican. He called for the weak to be protected and world leaders were present. Several-hundred thousand people crowded into St. Peter's Square to watch.

Vatican Pope

FOX News Radio's Simon Owen reports:

Vatican Pope

From the start, Pope Francis doing things differently again. Instead of the bullet-proof Pope-mobile, Francis travelling through the cheering crowd in an open-top all-white jeep.

In bright sunshine, he smiled and waved and kissed a baby, and climbed out of the car at one stage to bless a disabled man.

Vatican Pope

Among the congregation, Vice President Joe Biden, six Kings and Queens, and 31 Heads of State, including Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe.

Leaders of a many other faiths were also there, including the spiritual leader of the Orthodox Church, Patriarch Bartholomew.

He's the first Orthodox Patriarch to attend a Pope's inauguration mass since the two branches of Christianity split more than 1,000 years ago.

Vatican Pope

Inside St. Peter's Basilica before the service began, the Pope praying before the Tomb of St. Peter. Before processing outside. The procession chanting Christ is King in Latin.

Vatican Pope

(Pope Francis)

Before the mass began, the Pope was presented with the Papal Pallium, a woolen garment placed around his neck to symbolize his role as a shepherd.

The Pope also receiving the gold-plated silver fisherman's ring, a symbol of the papacy.

Six Cardinals then approached the Pope to promise their obedience.

Vatican Pope

The mass was that of the solemnity of St. Joseph with readings from the Second Book of Samuel.

(Mass) "Go and tell my servant David, 'Thus the lord speaks'."

Also the singing of Psalm 88...

(Choirboy)

Including the line you are my Father, my God, the rock who saves me.

And a reading from Romans... speaking of Abraham's faith in God.

Vatican Pope

And then the Gospel Acclamation... and the passage itself from the Gospel of Matthew telling the story of Jesus's birth.

The Gospel sung in Greek and not repeated in Latin as on previous occasions. The Pope making a number of edits to make the mass more straight-forward.

The whole mass lasted around two hours, an hour shorter than Pope Benedict's inauguration mass in 2005.

Vatican Pope

And then Pope Francis stepped forward, delivering his homily lasting around 15 minutes in Italian.

(Pope Francis)

He said his role will be one of service, and that he'll be inspired by the lowly. He called for people to respect animals, the environment, and their families. And saying the weakest in society should be defended: The elderly and the poor, speaking about the last people we think about.

(Pope Francis)

Vatican Pope

Then the prayers of the faithful, in different languages...

(French)

(Mandarin)

They prayed for Pope Francis, world leaders, and the poor and sick.

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And then the Eucharist. The Pope praying over bread and wine.

(Pope Francis)

Vatican Pope

That followed by a large-scale Communion, 500 priests working among the crowd for around 20 minutes.

Vatican Pope

And as the mass concluded, Pope Francis waving to the crowd as he returned inside St. Peter's Basilica.

Vatican Pope

It's now official, Pope Francis installed as the 266th leader of an estimated 1.2 billion Catholics around the world.

Simon Owen, FOX News Radio.