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Sistine Chapel resounds with wailing as Pope Francis, pouring water, baptizes 32 infants

VATICAN CITY — Wails of babies have resounded in the Sistine Chapel as Pope Francis baptized 32 infants at a Vatican ceremony.

Formally welcoming the children into the Catholic church Sunday, Francis poured water from a shell-shaped dish over the heads of the babies held in their mothers’ arms. Francis pronounced the babies’ names one by one, as beaming parents held their children, dressed in white satin or silk gowns and other finery, in the chapel whose ceiling was frescoed by Michelangelo.

In the same chapel in March, Francis was elected as the first Latin American pope. He is the first pope to choose the name Francis. Among the children were two Francescas. It wasn’t clear if Francis, whose cheerfulness and warmth draws huge crowds to the Vatican, have inspired those names.

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