Thousands flock to Vatican for Palm Sunday service
Sunday, March 24, 2013 - 01:21
Mar. 24 - Pope Francis leads his first Palm Sunday service as head of the Catholic Church, calling on the faithful to be less materialistic. Andrew Raven reports.
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Tens of thousands of people flock to the Vatican to celebrate Palm Sunday.
Waving fronds and offering prayers, they are marking the start of a holy week that will culminate in Easter.
Leading his first major service since his election, Pope Francis addressed the vast crowd in St. Peter's Square.
He said greed was the root cause of many conflicts around the world - and urged people to avoid materialism.
(SOUNDBITE) (Italian) LEADER OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, POPE FRANCIS, SAYING:
"Ours is not a joy that comes from having many possessions, but from having encountered a person: Jesus."
The pontiff later toured the square, kissing babies and greeting worshippers.
That seemed to be part of an effort to establish a new-look papacy - one that aims to bring the Church closer to the people.
Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus' solemn entry into Jerusalem before his arrest and crucifixion.
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