Pope Francis told young people who flocked by the hundreds of thousands to his words Sunday that they need to “believe in a new humanity” stronger than evil, and cautioned against concluding that one religion is more violent than others.
Organizers of the Catholic jamboree known as World Youth Day estimated 1.5 million youths attended his Mass at a meadow near Krakow, many of them having camped out in sleeping bags from a vigil service of prayer, singing and dance performances the previous evening.
The jamboree, meant to infuse young Catholics with fresh passion for their religion, was the main reason Francis came to Poland on a five-trip, which also took him to the former Nazi Auschwitz death camp, where he prayed in silence and reflected on what he called “so much cruelty,” and to a church in Krakow, where he prayed that God protect the world from the “devastating wave” of terrorism.
Extremist violence was on his mind when he set out last week, the day after extremists rushed into a church in the French countryside and murdered the elderly priest there, slitting his throat, as he was celebrating Mass.
Read More: News from The Associated Press