On Easter, Pope calls for peace, condemns waste
Pope Francis gives the thumb up in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Easter Sunday. (REUTERS/Tony Gentile)
Francis, marking the second Easter season of his pontificate, celebrated a Mass to an overflowing crowd of at least 150,000 in St. Peter’s Square and beyond.
Speaking under a sunny sky after a midnight rainstorm soaked the tens of thousands of flowers that bedecked the square, Francis weaved his message around the suffering of people across the globe.
Since his election as the first non-European Pope in 1,300 years, Francis had made defense of the poor a hallmark of his papacy, often criticizing developed nations and the excesses of capitalism and consumerism.
Francis appealed for more medical attention for the victims of the deadly Ebola epidemic in Guinea Conakry, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and care for those suffering from many other diseases spread through neglect and dire poverty.
Next Sunday, he will canonise Pope John Paul II, who reigned from 1978 to 2005, and Pope John XXIII, who was pontiff from 1958 to 1963 and called the Second Vatican Council, a landmark meeting that modernised the Church.
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