Pope Francis wraps up joyful United States visit with big open-air Mass

Francis, who has emphasized humility and service over pomp and circumstance since being elected pope two years ago, will next travel to Philadelphia’s Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, where inmates made the hand-carved wooden chair he will use during the day’s closing Mass.


The words and actions of Pope Francis challenge us here locally in Phoenix, as he recently told the Bishops of United States in Washington DC, “to be promoters of the culture of encounter”, and that, “dialogue is our method”.

“Would that all of us could be open to miracles of love for the sake of all the families of the world“, he said to the crowd spread out along the tree-lined boulevard.

“You could see the people pray and this struck me a lot”, he said.

On his return to Rome from a historic trip to the United States, Pope Francis publicly acknowledged that a few US bishops “covered up” child sex abuse by Catholic clergy.

Given this background and the Pope’s popularity as someone who directs his attention toward the common man and their real-life problems, sentiments of exceptional support to abuse victims was very high. The victims need to see a true move towards accountability, so that the message of acceptance that this Pope is preaching is not undermined by instances of sexual assault within the church he is preaching to.

Power said St. Bonaventure’s College has a special connection to Pope Francis: it is a Jesuit school and Francis is the first Jesuit to be elected pope.

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput said the crowd numbered more than a million. “He’s trying to include everyone in the Catholic church, even non-Catholics”.

“But this is not a divorce”, the pope said, “because marriage is indissoluble when it is a sacrament – and the Church can not change that: this is doctrine”.

“It’s one of those bucket list things”, Zimmerman said. “As I prepare to leave, I do so with a heart full of gratitude and hope”.

He said God weeps at the sexual abuse of children and vowed careful oversight to ensure the youth are protected.

“But those difficulties are overcome with love”, he said.


The pope offered his most comprehensive comments on the sexual-abuse scandal in his 21/2-year papacy and used his strongest language yet in condemning it and promising that “all responsible will be held accountable“.

Earlier on Sunday the pontiff prayed with a group of victims of child sexual abuse saying “God weeps&#148 for their suffering