Pope Francis on Thursday urged the downtrodden to change the world economic order, denouncing a “new colonialism” by agencies that impose austerity programs and calling for the poor to have the “sacred rights” of labour, lodging and land.
The Vatican acknowledged it was taken by surprise to discover that a wooden hammer and sickle sculpture with a figure of a crucified Christ gifted to the Pope in Bolivia was not commissioned by leftist president Evo Morales but designed by a priest killed in 1980.
SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia (Reuters) – Saying he too had made mistakes and sinned, Pope Francis on Friday urged inmates at one of Latin America’s most violent prisons to shun gang violence and exhorted guards to treat them with dignity.
“The man standing before you is a man who has experienced forgiveness. A man who was, and is, saved from his many sins,” the pope told hundreds of prisoners and their children on a visit to a place one long-time inmate likened to “Sodom and Gomorrah”.
SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Thursday urged the downtrodden to change the world economic order, denouncing a “new colonialism” by agencies that impose austerity programs and calling for the poor to have the “sacred rights” of labor, lodging and land.
In one of the longest, most passionate and sweeping speeches of his pontificate, the Argentine-born pope also asked forgiveness for the sins committed by the Roman Catholic Church in its treatment of native Americans during what he called the “so-called conquest of America.”
SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia (Reuters) – The Vatican acknowledged it was taken by surprise to discover that a wooden hammer and sickle sculpture with a figure of a crucified Christ gifted to the Pope in Bolivia was not commissioned by leftist president Evo Morales but designed by a priest killed in 1980.
The blending of the symbol of communism, under which many Christians were persecuted in the former Soviet bloc and still are in some communist countries, provoked outrage among Catholic officials.
SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia (Reuters) – Pope Francis, at a Mass for hundreds of thousands of people in Bolivia, said on Thursday that everyone had a moral duty to help the poor, and that those with means could not wish they would just “go away.”
The 78-year-old pontiff, on the fifth day of his three-nation tour of South America, is showing a few signs of fatigue but generally appears to be holding up well despite the changes in altitude and temperature.
LA PAZ, Bolivia (Reuters) – Pope Francis arrived in Bolivia on Wednesday, praising the government of leftist President Evo Morales, the country’s first indigenous leader whose frosty relationship with the Catholic Church has begun to thaw under the Argentine pontiff’s papacy.
Morales has nationalized key industries such as oil and gas to finance social programs that have slashed poverty in the Andean country, where animal sacrifices and pagan worship remain widely cherished.
QUITO (Reuters) – Pope Francis flies to Bolivia on Wednesday after drawing about 1.5 million people to Masses in Ecuador on the first leg of a “homecoming” tour, where he urged the world to take better care of the environment and the poor.
The Argentine-born pontiff was spending his last few hours at a home for the elderly in Ecuador’s highland capital Quito and a shrine just outside the city where he was to meet priests, nuns and seminarians.
QUITO (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Tuesday appealed to the world not to turn its back on the “reality” of environmental decay and its effects on the poor, saying protecting the planet was no longer a choice but a duty.
The pope, in a speech to university professors and students on the third day of his trip to Ecuador, made his first full-court press on environmental issues since the publication last month of his ecology encyclical “Laudato Si.”
Speaking to 800,000 people on the first leg of his “homecoming” tour of South America, the 78-year-old pope weaved his homily around the theme of the family, which will be the subject of the month-long synod at the Vatican.