Pope Francis walks the walk in flashy Seoul

SEOUL, South Korea -- Pope Francis spent his first full day in South Korea giving a mass and meeting youth, but yet again, it was how the pontiff arrived at his scheduled events that most clearly conveyed his trademark message of humility.

In the heart of one of Asia's leading economies and surrounded by a culture which indulges happily in ostentation, CBS News correspondent Seth Doane says the Pope has made it a point to speak out against consumerism.

And he has led by example. First, he was picked up from the airport Thursday in a small, boxy Kia Soul. On Friday, because of the weather, his helicopter ride to the central city of Daejeon, south of Seoul, was scrapped.

Instead, the leader of world's 1.2 billion Catholics took the high-speed train to mass -- much to the surprise of the other passengers.

Francis arrived to the packed 50,000 seat stadium to chants in Italian from the crowd of, "long live the Pope."

Pope Francis is seen in a Kia Soul car after his arrival at Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, South Korea
Pope Francis is seen in a Kia Soul car after his arrival at Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, South Korea, Aug. 14, 2014.
REUTERS

During mass, he told the faithful that "outwardly affluent" societies were full of inner "emptiness."

In his closing prayer, Francis acknowledged a still-raw wound for South Koreans; the Sewol ferry disaster which killed almost 300 people on April 16, most of them high school students on a field trip.

"May this tragic event which brought all Koreans together in grief confirm their commitment to work together in solidarity for the common good," said the pontiff.

Francis met privately with about a dozen survivors and relatives of those who died on the ferry.

Other family members of the dead are staging a hunger strike in the center of Seoul, pushing their government to pass a special law authorizing an independent investigation into the sinking of the ferry.

Some have been on strike for a day or two, but Kim Yeong-oh has been on the spot for more than a month now, surviving on nothing more than salt and water.

He showed Doane how thin he'd become, losing so much weight that his clothes no longer fit him. Kim's 16-year-old daughter Yumin died when the ferry went down.

During his strike, Kim has been reading a book of the pope's quotes, and says he likes the concept of "embracing those who have the least power."

"I'm asking the Pope to embrace the bereaved families," he told CBS News, "and not forget about us until the fight ends."

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