Europe

Pope celebrates Swedish Catholics after Luther commemoration

  • Pope Francis signs a book as he greets faithful upon his arrival at the Malmo stadium, Sweden, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. Francis traveled to secular Sweden on Monday to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, a remarkably bold gesture given his very own Jesuit religious order was founded to defend the faith against Martin Luther's "heretical" reforms five centuries ago. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

    Pope Francis signs a book as he greets faithful upon his arrival at the Malmo stadium, Sweden, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. Francis traveled to secular Sweden on Monday to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, a remarkably bold gesture given his very own Jesuit religious order was founded to defend the faith against Martin Luther's "heretical" reforms five centuries ago. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pope Francis greets faithful upon his arrival at the Malmo stadium, Sweden, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. Francis traveled to secular Sweden on Monday to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, a remarkably bold gesture given his very own Jesuit religious order was founded to defend the faith against Martin Luther's "heretical" reforms five centuries ago. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

    Pope Francis greets faithful upon his arrival at the Malmo stadium, Sweden, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. Francis traveled to secular Sweden on Monday to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, a remarkably bold gesture given his very own Jesuit religious order was founded to defend the faith against Martin Luther's "heretical" reforms five centuries ago. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pope Francis signs a book as he greets faithful upon his arrival at the Malmo stadium, Sweden, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. Francis traveled to secular Sweden on Monday to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, a remarkably bold gesture given his very own Jesuit religious order was founded to defend the faith against Martin Luther's "heretical" reforms five centuries ago. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

    Pope Francis signs a book as he greets faithful upon his arrival at the Malmo stadium, Sweden, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. Francis traveled to secular Sweden on Monday to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, a remarkably bold gesture given his very own Jesuit religious order was founded to defend the faith against Martin Luther's "heretical" reforms five centuries ago. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)  (The Associated Press)

Pope Francis is greeting the crowd at a sports stadium where he is celebrating Mass for Sweden's tiny Catholic community.

Parents dangled their snowsuit-clad babies over the edge of the stands of the Malmo stadium as Francis walked by, hoping to get a papal kiss or blessing. Francis obliged, taking his time under the overcast, 8-degree C (48F) skies to also stop and bless wheel-chair bound faithful on the pitch.

The crowd chanted "Papa Francesco" and waved Swedish, Polish, Danish and Vatican flags.

The Mass Tuesday is Francis' final event of his overnight trip to southern Sweden to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. He originally wasn't going to celebrate Mass because he wanted the trip to be exclusively an ecumenical affair, but relented after Catholic protests.