Pope Francis goes off-script at Easter Mass, addressing world conflict

Pope Francis went off-script Easter Sunday, encouraging his followers to trust their faith despite the violence and growing tension around the world.

Normally, the pope doesn't give a homily during Easter Mass. Instead, he'll wait for his noon message, which he delivers from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica. This year, though, he broke with tradition.

In the unscripted homily, Pope Francis said Easter brings a positive "sign in the midst of so many calamities."

SEE MORE: Pope Francis Might Let Married Men Become Priests

Later in the morning, the pope delivered his expected remarks from the balcony of the basilica, where he spoke against oppressive regimes, calling the Syrian population "prey to a war that continues to sow horror and death."

2017 Easter celebrations around the world
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2017 Easter celebrations around the world
Pope Francis waves at the end of his "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) message from the balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 16, 2017.
Girls curtsey as Britain's Queen Elizabeth and prince Philip leave the Easter Sunday service in Windsor Castle, in Windsor, April 16, 2017.
Britain's Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, arrive at the Easter Sunday service in Windsor Castle, in Windsor, Britain, April 16, 2017.
U.S. President Donald Trump and his son Barron board Air Force One at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. after Easter weekend, April 16, 2017.
Members of the clergy gather outside The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, Florida, as President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attend Easter Sunday service, April 16, 2017.
Christian worshippers light candles during a Sunday Easter mass procession in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City April 16, 2017.
An Ethiopian Orthodox priest blesses the faithful during easter eve prayers at the Medhane Alem church in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, April 15, 2017. Picture taken April 15, 2017.
Sorbian men dressed in black tailcoats ride decorated horses during an Easter rider procession near Crostwitz, Germany April 16, 2017.
A dog sits in a carriage during the annual Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival along 5th avenue in New York, U.S. April 16, 2017.
People carry a statue as they participate in an Easter Sunday procession through the streets of Tegucigalpa, Honduras April 16, 2017.
Lebanese Christian priests distribute painted eggs to celebrate Greek Orthodox Easter after an Easter service at St. George church in central Beirut, Lebanon April 16, 2017.
A priest blesses Ukrainian servicemen to mark Orthodox Easter at their position on the front line in Luhansk region, Ukraine, April 16, 2017.
Chileans take part in a symbolic burning of an effigy representing US president Donald Trump as part of Holy Week celebrations in a neighborhood of Vina del Mar, Chile April 16, 2017.
A priest leads the Easter Mass in Mar Gewargis (St George) Chaldean Catholic church, which was damaged by Islamic State militants, in the town of Tel Esqof, Iraq, April 16, 2017.
Christian worshippers surround the Edicule as they take part in a Sunday Easter mass procession in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City April 16, 2017. 
Nuns attend the Easter mass led by Pope Francis in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican April 16, 2017.
Catholics take part in the Procession of Lights, as part of the Holy Week celebration in Nahuizalco, El Salvador April 15, 2017.

He also called for world leaders to have "the courage they need to prevent the spread of conflicts and to put a halt to the arms trade."

Easter Sunday visitors were met with stricter security measures than usual. Vatican officials said threats against the pope, as well as recent attacks in London and Stockholm, called for their heaviest security checks ever for a public event in Vatican City.

Despite the extra security, some 60,000 people filled St. Peter's Square to hear the pope's Easter Mass — his fifth Easter as pontiff.

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