Pope increasingly world's moral leader

Vatican spokesman speaks before Francis's third anniversary

(ANSA) - Vatican City, March 8 - Vatican Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi on Tuesday hailed Pope Francis's qualities as a moral leader with the third anniversary of his election as pope coming on Sunday.
    "I have the impression that the pope's authoritativeness as a teacher of humanity and the Church in a global perspective is growing," Lombardi told Vatican Radio. "He is present on a global horizon and he addresses the issues facing humanity and the Church today with authority.
    "I'm talking about issues of peace and war, which truly touch us all, I'm talking about the issues of contemporary society in a context of globalisation, the throwaway culture, justice and participation... "Humanity looks to Pope Francis as a person who helps it to orientate itself and find messages of reference for situations that in many ways are of great uncertainty. "So he is a credible leader, a credible teacher who, by doing his service of a specifically religious and moral character, gives effective help.
    "He is listened to by the powerful of the Earth. And the powerful and the poor are equally important and necessary for humanity's path towards tomorrow". Pope Francis is currently doing spiritual exercises at a lenten retreat at Ariccia, near Rome.