Health & Spirit

In Peru, pope laments the state of urban poor

Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Religious News

"What is going on with the prisons?" Francis asked. "They are overpopulated, (inmates) live like animals. It is the school of corruption."

During an address at Lima's central square, Francis urged discouraged youth not to lose hope as though they were "being left out of the World Cup," a reference to the world soccer championship held every four years. Francis has regularly reached out to young people.

In a reference to technology and social media, Francis advised the young that they could not "photo-shop" their hearts.

During the Lima address, the pope also called for a moment of silence and reflection for people killed and injured during church-backed demonstrations in the Republic of Congo.

On a lighter note, the pope addressed a group of 500 nuns and likened "the gossiping nun" to a "terrorist," adding: "Gossip is like a bomb."

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(Special correspondents Adriana Leon and Liliana Nieto del Rio contributed to this report.)

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