Pope Francis blesses, kisses children during parade in Washington

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WASHINGTON — Francis is delighting an adoring crowd with his popemobile procession in Washington.

The pope is moving slowly past throngs lining his route from the White House, waving from an outfitted Jeep that is open on the sides.

At one point, a young girl carrying a yellow banner got outside the police barricade holding the crowds back and tried to approach the popemobile. She shied back when a bodyguard came near to pick her up and bring her to Francis. But then the pope gestured to her to come to him, and she allowed the bodyguard to pick her up and bring her to Francis for a papal kiss and blessing.

The pope also paused twice to have babies brought to him, and he kissed them on the head.

It’s his first encounter with the American public, after his invitation-only event on the White House South Lawn.

The pope is proceeding to the Cathedral of St. Matthew where he is meeting with American bishops.


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