After being trapped in an elevator due to a power outage, Pope Francis made it to his weekly Angelus prayers. There, he announced 13 new cardinals from the periphery of the church, some of whom have worked with refugees.
Pope Francis explained that there had been a electrical power problem in the Vatican and that he had been stuck in the elevator until freed by Vatican fire officers. "A round of applause for the fire brigade," he told the crowd.
Francis' visit starting Friday comes on the heels of the European Parliament elections that hollowed out the political middle in the bloc, and Francis is expected to speak about issues confronting the continent during the trip.
Vatican insists on Australian Cardinal George Pell's right to further defend himself after being convicted of molesting two choirboys in his homeland, but said Pope Francis was keeping in place local church restrictions.
Last month Francis defrocked Father Fernando Karadima, an 88-year-old Chilean priest who sexually abused teenage boys over a period of many years and is at the centre of a wider abuse scandal that is still being investigated.