Pope, in Brazil, asks young to change unfair, corrupt world

Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:39pm EDT
 
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By Philip Pullella and Anthony Boadle

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Pope Francis urged young people on Friday to change a world where food is discarded while millions go hungry, where racism and violence still affront human dignity and where politics is more associated with corruption than service.

Francis, on the fifth day of his first trip abroad since his election in March, went to Rio's Copacabana beach to preside at a "Way of the Cross" service commemorating Jesus' final hours as part of an international jamboree of Catholic youth, known as World Youth Day.

Hundreds of thousands of people turned out to see the Argentine pope at the theatrical event on the crescent-shaped beachfront, giving him yet another of the frenzied welcomes that have defined his trip so far.

He ordered his open-sided popemobile to stop numerous times along his 1.8-mile (3-km) route so he could kiss babies and shake hands. He got out several times to walk along the route, making his security detail nervous again.

In his address, Francis used the analogy of the suffering Jesus to ask the young people to ease the sufferings of the world. He used the theme to address issues ranging from hunger and crime to an oblique reference to the child sex abuse scandal that has roiled the Roman Catholic Church in recent years.

Francis spoke of "the silence of the victims of violence, those who can no longer cry out, especially the innocent and the defenseless."

He said Jesus was united with families whose children were victims of violence and drug addiction.

"Jesus is united with every person who suffers from hunger in a world where tons of food are thrown out each day ... with those who are persecuted for their religion, for their beliefs or simply for the color of their skin," he said.   Continued...

 
Pope Francis delivers a speech during Via Crucis at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, July 26, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini