Pope Francis Makes Mark as 'The People's Pope'

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Pope Francis officially becomes the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics on Tuesday. But despite all the pomp, the pope is displaying a heart for the common people.

A crowd of more than 150,000 roared as he made his first appearance Monday from the window in St. Peter's Square.

In the 15-minute address, he abandoned his written speech and instead delivered off the cuff remarks about God's power to forgive.

"The pope is very down to earth," said Emanuel Anatsui, a pilgrim from the United Kingdom. "He is a people person, and I think it is amazing. He is going to be wonderful for the Church."

Earlier Sunday, Francis celebrated mass at a tiny Vatican church and then broke precedent by wading into the crowd, shaking hands and kissing babies.

"This is somebody who is with the people and he's really speaking to them," Father Thomas Roscia of the Holy See press office said. "I think that message goes far."

On Monday, Francis is preparing for the inaugural mass of his papacy.

Leaders from across the world are coming to Vatican City, including Vice President Joe Biden and Argentine President Cristina Kirchner, who will meet with the newly elected pope.

Still, questions have been raised about his actions during a dark period in Argentina's history. There are some who claim he did not do enough to protect Jesuit priests who were kidnapped.

The Vatican rejected the accusations, calling them "slander."

Human rights groups have said Francis was not complicit in atrocities committed by the regime when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires.

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CBN News
Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at Facebook.com/CharleneIsraelCBNNews.