Argentines get personal message from the pope
Web Producer: Rikki Mitchell
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) - The thousands of Argentines who gathered in their capital today to watch on giant TV screens as Pope Francis was formally installed have been rewarded with a phone call from their countryman.
Just an hour before his ceremony began in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis spoke by phone to the crowd, with his remarks routed to loudspeakers and transmitted live by TV and radio across his native Argentina.
He said to the crowd in the plaza in Buenos Aires, "I know that you're praying and making prayers. I need them very much."
He asked that the people care for each other, and that there be no hate, conflicts or jealousy.
And he concluded, "Don't forget that this bishop who is far away loves you very much. Pray for me."
Many in the crowd shouted their thanks to the pope, and added, "Viva Argentina, viva el Papa."
Some had waited all night in the plaza, where four huge screens were set up for today's ceremony at the Vatican. One woman said, "We're so proud to have an Argentine pope."
And a man from a remote northern region of Argentina marveled at the technology that allowed him to see the installation ceremony. He said, "My ancestors could never even imagine this."