Catholic Media Network

Pope seeks end to ‘hatred between peoples’

BRZEGI, Poland – At the evening vigil on Saturday, Pope Francis chastised “drowsy and dull kids who confuse happiness with a sofa,” urging them to get out and live life rather than spend it glued to smartphones.

The final festivities were attended by “between 2.5 and 3.0 million people,” 2016 World Youth Day spokesperson Anna Chmura said. Polish police declined to give an estimate.

Latin America’s first pontiff had faced stiff competition at the start of his five-day trip with the memory of immensely popular Polish pope and saint John Paul II, but quickly made the festivities his own.

As he visited the death camp in Auschwitz, he warned that the cruelty seen there “did not end” with World War II.

The “world is at war,” Francis said, but the way to “overcome fear” was to welcome people fleeing conflicts and persecution — a message with particular resonance in Poland, which has taken a hard line against refugees.

On Saturday he prayed for God to rid the world of the “devastating wave of terrorism.”