As for the refugee crisis sweeping much of Europe, Francis said the construction of barriers – like the one Hungary built along the Serbian border – to stop the influx is useless.
The pope, meeting with 300 bishops this morning, also commented on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, calling it a “profoundly immoral and unjust decision”.
Earlier, leaders of the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia including Archbishop Charles Chaput at 10 a.m.at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Given this background and the Pope’s popularity as someone who directs his attention toward the common man and their real-life problems, sentiments of exceptional support to abuse victims was very high.
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The challenge of serving communion to hundreds of thousands of recipients was handled relatively quickly and with apparent ease.
The 300-member papal choir sang and the Philadelphia Orchestra played as the eucharistic ministers spread among the faithful.
“Finally a Catholic official is admitting that “princes of the church” covered up heinous crimes”, SNAP President Barbara Blaine said in a statement. His plane departed for Rome on Sunday night, thus bringing to a close his first visit to US soil. He thanked the pope for bringing his spirit to the city and to the world.
Yet even far from the stage, Northeastern Pennsylvanians still felt the warmth of the pope’s message.
The family told the Roman Pontiff that “they really wanted to greet him” and Pope replied that “when I found out that you were here I said I wanted to meet you, I was following (your travels). Don’t forget.” A roar from the crowd followed.
Although sexual abuse of minors exists in many areas, Pope Francis said it is particularly serious when it occurs at the hands of a priest, whose vocation is to lead children toward God.
Francis also told journalists that while he is willing to forgive clergy who have abused children and young people, he understands why there are a few who find it hard.
The mass marked the end of his six-day trip to the United States during which millions of people camped out to catch a glimpse of him. I was amazed looking at the crowd, the families with children. I am profoundly sorry.
But it was in Washington where the Pope made a global impact.
Among those attending the afternoon World Meeting of Families Papal Mass on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum was the Rev. Francisco Alanis with St. Therese Little Flower Church in Albuquerque.