By William Booth
Pope Francis wades into the crowd Saturday in Bethany Beyond the Jordan, where Jesus is thought to have been baptized. (William Booth/The Washington Post)
Pope Francis is surrounded by well-wishers, cancer patients, and Iraqi and Syrian refugees on Saturday in a half-completed church in Bethany Beyond the Jordan, the site where tradition says that Jesus was baptized.
The pope — shown in his white zucchetto, or skullcap — is wearing a red checkered scarf given to him a few minutes earlier by a Jordanian student. The scene shows a pope who decided on his own to wade into a spontaneous moment. People felt comfortable to reach out, embrace him and kiss his cheek. Everyone looked happy and taken by the warmth — not least of all the pontiff, who was beaming.