Merkel 'excited' by Pope Francis' inauguration Mass

Hopes for impact on Christians worldwide

Merkel 'excited' by Pope Francis' inauguration Mass

Berlin, March 19 - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday expressed her ''joy'' at attending Pope Francis' inauguration Mass and said she hoped his simplicity would impact not just Christians but people of all faiths. ''It was a great joy for me to be here today and take part as Chancellor in the pope's installment,'' she said. ''It was very exciting, just as the first few days of his pontificate were very exciting. Today the homily was also very direct and aimed at ordinary people in a language that was simple and easy to understand,'' Merkel added. ''I hope this might have an impact not just on Catholic Christians, but on Christianity throughout the world and on the role of religions. I believe that the notion of charity, which has had a central role over the last few days, is very important for everyone, over and above their particular religion,'' the German chancellor concluded. On Tuesday delegations representing 132 countries gathered in St Peter's Basilica to attend the inauguration mass of Argentine Pope Francis, a Jesuit, who was elected to succeed Benedict XVI at a conclave of cardinals last week.

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