Addressing a young crowd in Poland, Pope Francis called on a belief in a ‘new humanity’ and asked for borders not to be used as barriers. Meanwhile his security team provided a good barrier, just in case a terror attack occurred. What do you think about the Pope’s statements?
Pope Francis encouraged hundreds of thousands of young people at a global gathering of the faithful Sunday to “believe in a new humanity” that is stronger than evil and refuses to see borders as barriers.
His appeal came at the end of World Youth Day, a weeklong event being held in southern Poland this year that draws young Catholics from around the world every two to three years for a spiritual pep rally.
The youth gathering was Francis’ main focus during his pilgrimage to Poland, but over five days in this deeply Catholic nation he also prayed at the former Nazi Auschwitz death camp and implored God to keep away a devastating wave of terrorism now hitting the world. He also met with Poland’s political and church leaders.
For a second straight day, a huge crowd filled a vast field Sunday in the gentle countryside outside the city of Krakow to see Francis, who was visiting central and eastern Europe for the first time. Security was very high throughout the pope’s visit, coming at a time of terror attacks in Western Europe.
Many of the faithful had camped out overnight after an evening of entertainment and prayer with the pope in the same field Saturday night that drew 1.6 million people, according World Youth Day organizers.
Sunday’s faithful numbered at least in the hundreds of thousands. The Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, referred to an estimate by Polish authorities of 1.5 million at Sunday’s closing Mass.
The pope used his several encounters with the young pilgrims — from mega-gatherings to a private lunch with only a dozen people from five continents — to encourage a new generation to work for peace, reconciliation and justice.
God, said Francis in his final homily of the pilgrimage, “demands of us real courage, the courage to be more powerful than evil, by loving everyone, even our enemies.”
“People may judge you to be dreamers, because you believe in a new humanity, one that rejects hatred between peoples, one that refuses to see borders as barriers and can cherish its own traditions without being self-centered or small-minded,” Francis told his flock, many of them in their late teens, 20s or 30s.