Pope celebrates final Mass of his visit to Paraguay, huge attends
Pope Francis on Sunday July 12, 2015 wrapped up his journey to Latin America by celebrating an open-air Mass at Nu Guazu outside Asuncion on the final day of his visit to Paraguay. In his homily at the Mass which was attended by hundreds of thousands of faithful including many from his native Argentina, the Pope stressed the importance of welcoming others, showing hospitality and warned about the evil of isolation which he said eats away at our life and makes us closed in on ourselves.
Pope Francis leaves Paraguay on Monday, after an eight-day tour of some of South America's poorest countries. During his previous stops in Bolivia and Ecuador, he spoke out against social injustices in the region.
He also apologised for the role of the Roman Catholic Church in the brutal colonisation of most of Latin America by the Spanish. Earlier, the Pope visited the Banado Norte shantytown Asuncion, home to some 100,000 people. He urged residents to stand up for each other. "No matter how many Masses on Sundays, if you don't have a heart in solidarity, if you don't know what is happening in our town, your faith is very weak, or it's sick or it's dead."
Pope Francis, who was born in Argentina, is the first leader of the Roman Catholic Church to come from Latin America. Thousands of people travelled from neighbouring Argentina for the Pope's last Mass in the tour, including President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.
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