Pope Francis told an American pilgrim taking part in World Youth Day that clerical sex abuse is a “horrible crime” and that “even if it is just one person, the Church should not tolerate it.”
As Brooklyn and Queens pilgrims arrived at the final and perhaps, most important days of their World Youth Day pilgrimage, they also reached the longest leg of their journey – walking at least seven miles for the evening prayer vigil with Pope Francis.
Speaking to over half a million young people from around the world on Sunday, Pope Francis said Jesus is not “an interval in life nor a passing fad,” but a loving God who’s concrete and close.
Pope Francis will “encourage the Catholics throughout the world to continue to put into practice the teachings of the Church regarding dialogue with Muslims” when he visits the United Arab Emirates, according to one expert on interreligious dialogue.
Following Tuesday’s “definitive” acquittal of Asia Bibi, an illiterate Catholic mother of four who spent almost a decade on death row on blasphemy charges, one Asia expert says the next frontier for minorities in Pakistan is the press for full equality as citizens under the “rule of law.”
Amid challenging moments with intense heat and overcrowding, young pilgrims at World Youth Day discovered and reflected on the graces amid the chaos.
Pope Francis is a legendarily bold traveler, including a visit to the Central African Republic in 2015 amid a bloody civil war – even telling the pilot that if it wasn’t safe to land, he’d just take a parachute.
The primary goal of the Vatican’s February summit on clerical sexual abuse and child protection is to help bishops understand the urgency of the crisis, Pope Francis said.
As was widely expected, Lisbon, Portugal has been selected to host the next World Youth Day, which is slated to take place in July 2022.
A bombing on Sunday at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo, the capital of Sulu Province in the southern Philippines, left 20 people dead and 81 wounded. One of the IEDs exploded inside the church as Mass was going on, while another went off in the parking lot outside where most churchgoers had fled after the first blast.