17 March 2013
Last updated at 10:56
Pope Francis is delivering the Angelus prayer and blessing before a crowd of many thousands gathered in St Peter’s Square in Rome.
Remarks after the traditional prayer are expected to touch on global issues.
It will be the Pope’s second official appearance before the general public since he was elected on Wednesday.
Earlier, Francis celebrated his first Sunday mass as pontiff in the Vatican’s small and simple parish church, rather than in St Peter’s Basilica.
Before he entered the church, Pope Francis, 76, greeted well-wishers who had lined up outside a nearby Vatican gate shouting “Francesco” – his name in Italian.
The former Argentine cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was the surprise choice of cardinals meeting in Rome to pick the successor to the retiring Benedict XVI.
But correspondents say he has been quick to stamp his own style on the papacy.
Speaking on Saturday, Pope Francis emphasised that he wanted “a poor Church, for the poor”.
At the end of the Sunday Mass, he waited outside the church and greeted people as they left, like a parish priest, asking many of them to, “pray for me”.
The new Pope’s style is very different to that of his predecessor, BBC Vatican correspondent David Willey says.
He talks in simple, easy to understand terms about ethical values and shows a remarkable sense of humour, our correspondent says.
Benedict – now Pope emeritus Benedict – became the first pontiff in 600 years to abdicate last month when he said his age, 85, and health meant he could no longer continue in the job.
Pope Francis: St Peter’s crowds hear Angelus prayer – BBC News
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