While sharing a private lunch with pilgrims from around the world, Pope Francis expressed his solidarity with victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy and emphasized the need for unity and prayer, a U.S. pilgrim said.
The presence of the pope at W.Y.D. was something of the utmost importance, an invaluable gift, and a source of immense inspiration and affirmation of the pilgrims' faith.
The pope said the road to Calvary is "a way of suffering and solitude" that is "prolonged in a society that has lost the ability to weep and to be moved by suffering."
Speaking to young detainees at a penitential liturgy in Las Garzas de Pacora Juvenile Detention Center in Panama Jan. 25, the pope said society creates "an adjective culture" that prefers to immediately label people as good or bad rather than truly getting to know them.
While hundreds of vendors sold water to the thirsty, the Muslim community at the oldest mosque in Panama City gave it away for free near a banner that said, "Welcome Pilgrim Friends."
Pope Francis insisted Thursday that public officials live simply, honestly and transparently as he opened a visit to a Central American region that has been rife with corruption scandals and is now coping with political upheaval in nearby Venezuela.