Dec. 6 - Pope Francis praised Nelson Mandela in comments read aloud by Vatican spokesperson. Jennifer Davis reports.
Pope Francis is joining the chorus of leaders paying tribute to Nelson Mandela. A Vatican spokesperson read a telegram the pontiff sent to South African President Jacob Zuma, in which the church leader praised the anti-apartheid hero's committment to non-violence and expressed hope that Mandela's example will "inspire generations of South Africans". The outpouring of sorrow over Mandela's death extended to tourists and locals visting the Vatican as its traditional Christmas tree was decorated. (SOUNDBITE) GERBEN TJEERDSMA, DUTCH TOURIST, SAYING: "It's a loss. It's a very large loss for the world but I think he did so many good things." (SOUNDBITE) KATIE JOLAND, BRITISH TOURIST, SAYING: "You know, I know what a legend he was and I have a lot of respect for him. It's just really, really sad news." Local newspapers hailed Mandela as a hero and morning commuters reading them in Rome echoed that thought. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) FRANCA FRIONI, ROME RESIDENT, SAYING: "It's absolutely devastating news, even if physically it was expected, but still, it's a shock." Mandela, who was 95, died peacefully at his home Thursday evening.