- May 29, 2020
Right in the middle of a pumped-up, ‘let the good times roll’ celebration of the faith in the form of World Youth Day, Pope Francis delivered a reality check on Friday — reminding young people of the reality of pain in the world, and insisting that God is found wherever there’s suffering.
On Friday, Pope Francis paid a somber visit to the Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau Friday, becoming the third consecutive pontiff to make the pilgrimage to the place where Adolf Hitler’s forces killed more than 1 million people, most of them Jews.
On his way to Poland for World Youth Day on Wednesday, Pope Francis told journalists on the papal plane that the world is at war, but it’s not at heart a religious conflict. He also gave Crux a short video for young pilgrims, saying, “Dear volunteers, greetings from me … Go on, and pray for me… and don’t get lazy!”
Cardinal George Pell, the prelate brought in by Pope Francis to reform the Vatican’s financial systems, has vigorously rejected accusations of sexual abuse reportedly being investigated by Australian police, saying that they amount to a “scandalous smear campaign.”
Just before leaving Rome for Poland, Pope Francis released a video message for young immigrants in Brownsville, Texas, who are coming together this week because their legal and financial situation makes getting to Poland for World Youth Day impossible.
The peculiar horror of yesterday’s slaying of an elderly French priest by Islamist teenagers was designed to tempt Christians into responding with their own violence. But Pope Francis and the French bishops insisted on peace, love, and dialogue.