Pope makes surprise phone call to Argentina to well-wishers

March 19, 2013 13:20

BUENOS AIRES - Pope Francis surprised crowds of Catholic faithful who waited through the night for his inaugural Mass with a telephone call from the Vatican to the cathedral in Buenos Aires where he used to be archbishop.

Latin America's first pope inaugurated his papacy on Tuesday with an address to an estimated 200,000 in St. Peter's Square in Rome, calling for the defense of the weakest in society and of the environment.

In the hours before the Mass was due to start, thousands of faithful gathered around large television screens set up in the central square of Plaza de Mayo, overlooked by the cathedral and the famous pink presidential palace.

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