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Breastfeed In The Sistine Chapel If Your Children Are Hungry, Says Pope Francis

13/01/2014 12:12 GMT | Updated 25/01/2014 21:01 GMT

Mothers should be free to breastfeed in public, even in the Sistine Chapel, even in front of the Pope, the Pontiff has told assembled mothers.

Pope Francis, who was administering a papal baptism of infants in the Apostolic Palace said mothers should never feel afraid to feed their hungry infants in the chapel.

"If they are hungry, mothers, feed them, without thinking twice," he said, according to local news reports.

pope francis baby

Mothers should not be ashamed to breastfeed in public, the Pontiff has said

"Because they are the most important people here."

The baptism ceremony came on the weekend that the Pope announced a raft of new Cardinals, including Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster.

Nichols, one of only two Europeans to be selected to wear the red hat, said it was a "humbling moment" and that he was delighted to have the opportunity to "serve the Pope in a direct and prolonged way".

Argentinian Pope Francis selected of his 16 cardinals from small, poor countries like the Ivory Coast, Haiti and Burkina Faso, but none from the United States.