Breaking with tradition, Pope Francis delivered off-the-cuff remarks instead of reading from a written speech for the first Sunday window appearance of his papacy. In just five days, Pope Francis’ straightforward, spontaneous style has become the immediate hallmark of his papacy.
Earlier on Sunday, he made an impromptu appearance before the public from a side gate of the Vatican, startling passers-by and prompting cheers, before delivering a six-minute homily — brief by church standards — at the Vatican’s tiny parish church.
Before he entered St. Anna’s church to celebrate Mass, he shook hands with parishioners and kissed babies. After Mass, Pope Francis put his security detail to the test as he waded into the street just outside St. Anna’s Gate. As the traffic light at the intersection turned green, Pope Francis stepped up to the crowd, grasping outstretched hands. The atmosphere was so casual that people even gripped the Pope on the shoulder.