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Pope baptizes 32 babies in Sistine Chapel, marvels at quiet

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has baptized 32 babies, including two sets of twins, in the splendor of the Sistine Chapel.

Francis marveled that the babies were very quiet, with barely a peep as they waited their turn to be baptized Sunday morning under the Michelangelo-frescoed ceiling.

The papal baptisms take place once a year in the chapel where popes are elected, and past such occasions have been noisy.

Bracing for a chorus of wailing, Francis joked during his brief homily: “The concert still hasn’t begun.” But even when the pope poured water, to symbolize the cleansing of sin, on each baby’s head and read out their names the children stayed remarkably quiet. So did curious older siblings.

With the baptism, the children formally become members of the Catholic church.

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