Pilgrims bitten by snakes at #Paraguay papal Mass

She said “They came from all over Paraguay and tens of thousands from neighbouring Argentina, the pope’s home country, too”.


One of the most memorable moments of the South America trip was when Evo Morales, Bolivia’s socialist president, presented the Pope with a sculpture featuring the body of a crucified Christ nailed to a hammer and sickle. The crucifix is a replica, originally desi…

Pope Francis embraces children as he speaks at the the Acosta Nu pediatric hospital in San Lorenzo, on the outskirts of Asuncion, Paraguay, Saturday, July 11, 2015.

The young person, a Catholic, noted Paraguay’s inequality, weak government institutions, high poverty rates and corruption, and, despite these, the country’s enjoyment of civil liberty, strengthening democracy and strong youth.

(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, Pool).

Pope Francis said that he did know, however, that Father Espinal was among the Latin American theologians in the late 1970s who found Marxist political, social and economic analysis helpful for understanding their countries and their people’s struggles and that the Jesuit also used Marxist theories in his theology.

People wait for Pope Francis’ arrival to Banado Norte, a poor neighborhood in Asuncion, Paraguay, July 12.

“How much pain can be soothed, how much despair can be allayed in a place where we feel at home”, Francis said.

But while a range of topics were covered on Sunday night, Pope Francis seemed determined to accomplish two things: To avoid saying anything that would overshadow a successful Latin American tour, and to avoid saying anything that might stir contention about his trip to Cuba and the United States in September. His escape is considered the first of many miracles in what would become the religious center of this poor nation of 6.8 million sandwiched between Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil. He also said he felt like a “great-grandfather” when young people asked to take selfies with him. The pope appeared to directly address the issue. But it also showed how Francis is one of the most unusual pontiffs to lead the world’s largest Christian denomination.

But by the time the mass began, a brilliant sun was shining under blue skies, rewarding those who had traveled from near and far to see Francis. So he popped into the fast food joint, then minutes later emerged to rail against consumerism during his homily.

“We built our neighbourhoods inch by inch, overcoming hard terrain, floods and hostile public authorities”, Ms Garcia said. He blamed capitalism, which he said is obsessed with the logic of profits to the exclusion of the needs of people and protection of the environment.

“The Church can not be indifferent to this”, he said.

After a quick, but typical Paraguayan breakfast prepared for him by one of the local residents, the pope walked through the neighborhood’s streets and said afterwards that “a faith that is not done in solidarity is a dead faith”. The banner included a Pope Francis quote from 2013 on same-gender couples: “If they accept God and they have good faith, who am I to judge?”

Francis gave blessings and sometimes even bear hugs to the poor and sick throughout the trip.


“I have to start studying these criticisms”, he said. “”I think it sums up very nicely what I have been trying to say, “[I dream of] a paradise free of war between brothers and sisters, rich in men and women healthy in heart and soul… and a God who blesses its dawn”.

Pope Francis visits slum on final day of South America tour - Digital Journal