Thursday 26 April 2018

Poor, hungry cannot be ignored, Pope tells crowds on Bolivia trip

Pope Francis and Evo Morales
Pope Francis and Evo Morales

Pope Francis told a Mass for hundreds of thousands of people in Bolivia yesterday that everyone had a moral duty to help the poor, and that those with means could not wish that they would just "go away."

The 78-year-old pontiff, on the fifth day of his three-nation tour of South America, is showing a few signs of fatigue but generally appears to be holding up well despite stark changes in altitude and temperature.

On Wednesday he went from the oxygen-poor air of La Paz, which is more than 3,650m (11,975ft) above sea level, to Santa Cruz, Bolivia's largest and fastest-growing city, which is at 416m (1,365ft).

In his homily, Francis urged his listeners to beware of an attitude of resignation before the great challenges facing society because "it disorients us, it closes our heart to others, especially to the poor."

"Faced with so many kinds of hunger in our world, we can say to ourselves: 'We will never manage, there is nothing to be done.' And so our hearts yield to despair," he said.

Irish Independent

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