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Pope understands youth who lose faith over church sins

27 july 2013, 13:51
0
Pope Francis on Friday voiced understanding for young people who have lost faith over the Catholic Church's failings and those turned off by corrupt politics, AFP reports.

The Argentine-born pontiff made the remarks while taking part in the Catholic ritual of the Stations of the Cross, which re-enacts Jesus Christ carrying the Cross to his crucifixion.

Francis told the crowd that Jesus "unites himself with those young people who have lost faith in the Church, or even in God because of the incoherence of Christians and ministers of the Gospel."

Francis was elected in March to reform the 1.2-billion-strong Catholic Church, which has been roiled by pedophilia and financial scandals.

"On the Cross, Jesus is united with so many young people who have lost faith in political institutions, because they see in them only selfishness and corruption," the pontiff added.

This was an apparent reference to last month's street protests spearheaded by young people across Brazil to demand an end to corruption and to press for better public services.

The ceremony on the Copacabana beachfront was joined by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims attending World Youth Day (WYD), a major Catholic youth fest.

"We have come here today to accompany Jesus on his journey of sorrow and love, the Way of the Cross, which is one of the most intense moments of World Youth Day," Francis said.

"The Cross of Christ bears the suffering and the sin of mankind, including our own," he said.

"Jesus accepts all this with open arms, bearing on his shoulders our crosses and saying to us: 'Have courage! You do not carry your cross alone! I carry it with you. I have overcome death and I have come to give you hope, to give you life," he added.

The Stations of the Cross is usually performed during Lent, the Christian season of fasting and reflection.

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