Millions Attend Pope Francis’ Mass In The Philippines | bambinoides.com " />

Millions Attend Pope Francis’ Mass In The Philippines

PHOTO: Pope Francis greets people and blesses their religious icons as he arrives to celebrate a mass at a park in Manila. (AFP: Ted Aljibe)

Pope Francis greets people and blesses their religious icons as he arrives to celebrate a mass at a park in Manila. (AFP: Ted Aljibe)

— Pope Francis has said a huge open-air mass for a record-size rain-drenched crowd in the Philippine capital, after appealing to the world to “learn how to cry” over the plight of poor, homeless and abused children.

 

Pope Francis celebrates mass with record 6 million in Philippines, calls for compassion for world’s poor

Pope Francis arrives to celebrate a mass at a park in Manila

Pope Francis has said a huge open-air mass for a record-size rain-drenched crowd in the Philippine capital, after appealing to the world to “learn how to cry” over the plight of poor, homeless and abused children.

A city official said 6 million people turned out to see the Pope in Manila’s Rizal Park and surrounding areas on Sunday to witness the event that capped Francis’s week-long trip to Asia.

“We have it at 6 million,” Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino said, when asked for the crowd size. The gathering makes it a world record crowd for a papal gathering.

The 78-year-old Pope, wearing a transparent yellow poncho over his white cassock, was driven through the ecstatic crowd in a “popemobile” modified from a jeepney, the most popular mode of transport in the Philippines.

He stopped often along the route to kiss children and bless religious statues on the day the Philippines celebrates the feast of the infant Jesus.

The faithful, also wearing ponchos, held up rosaries as he passed by.

Some people in the capital of Asia’s only predominantly Catholic country had waited during the night for gates to open at dawn.

The gates opened nine hours before the start of the mass.

In his homily, the Pope urged Filipinos to shun “social structures which perpetuate poverty, ignorance and corruption”, a theme he stressed when he held talks with president Benigno Aquino on Friday. Mr Aquino attended the mass.

Francis also took another swipe at the government’s population control efforts. He said the family was under threat from “insidious attacks and programs contrary to all that we hold true and sacred”.

Organisers had said they had expected 6 million people, 1 million more than the number that flocked to a mass there by Pope John Paul 20 years ago.

Pope Francis celebrates mass with six million people in Manila

PHOTO: An aerial photo shows six million faithful attending a mass by Pope Francis during his visit to Manila.(AFP/Philippine Air Force Public Information Office)

Pope calls for world to care about hungry, poor

Before the mass an emotional Francis, moved by the tears of an abandoned child, said the world needed to “learn how to cry” over the plight of the millions of poor, hungry, homeless and abused children.

“Why do children suffer?” the Argentine Pope said, speaking in his native Spanish.

An aide translated his words from his native Spanish into English for the crowd of about 30,000 young people on the grounds of a Church-run university.

“I invite each one of you to ask yourselves, ‘Have I learned how to weep, how to cry when I see a hungry child, a child on the street who uses drugs, a homeless child, an abandoned child, an abused child, a child that society uses as a slave’?” he said.

Pope Francis embraces three children in Manila

PHOTO: Pope Francis embraces three children during his visit to the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. (AFP: Guiseppe Cacace)

The Pope’s five-day visit to the Philippines, which began on Thursday, followed two days in Sri Lanka.

It is his second trip to Asia in five months, in a nod to the growing importance of the region to the Catholic Church as it faces declining support in Europe and the United States.

Rapturous receptions for the Pope throughout his Philippine journey, including millions crowding his motorcade routes in Manila, have cemented the nation’s status as the Church’s Asian role model.

But not everything has gone as planned.

The Pope said the main reason for visiting the Philippines was to meet survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm ever recorded on land which claimed more than 7,350 lives in November, 2013.

He flew on Saturday morning from Manila to Leyte island, ground zero for the typhoon, for a planned full day in communities where homes were flattened by monster winds and tsunami-like storm surges.

But, with another fierce storm descending on the region, he was forced to abruptly cut short his visit and fly back to Manila.

Just 30 minutes after his flight left, a plane carrying top presidential aides overshot the same runway as it was buffeted by strong side winds while trying to take off. No-one was seriously injured.

Earlier in the day, the storm’s winds tore down scaffolding at the venue where the pope gave mass, killing a woman who was working as a volunteer with the organising committee.

Source: abc.net.au


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