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Massive Manila Mass for Pope Francis

Pope Francis celebrated Mass with a huge crowd

Share on Facebook January 18, 2015, Reporter : Deutsche Welle, Reader : 592

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Manila: Pope Francis and millions in Manila have gathered for an outdoor Mass, on the last full day of the pontiff's trip. He read a brief prayer in English to the vast crowd in the capital of the predominantly Catholic country, reports DW.

Pope Francis celebrated Mass with a huge crowd in Rizal Park on Sunday, in a ceremony started in song and a short blessing in English read out by the pope. Bells tolled a few minutes into the ceremony to signal the start of the Eucharist.

Manila's faithful braved stormy weather to attend the last major event of the pope's five-day visit, even camping out overnight in some cases. Francis Tolentino, chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, estimated in comments to the Associated Press that roughly 3 million people had crammed into Rizal Park.

"It doesn't matter to us," one woman said on local television when asked about the rain. "It's as if we were being blessed with holy water."

On the first full day of his five-day visit on 16 January, he called for politicians to show commitment to the "common good".

But President Benigno Aquino responded that many Catholic clergy had been silent about the abuses conducted under former President Gloria Arroyo.

And he said some clergymen were now too quick to criticise him.

"In contrast to their previous silence, some members of the clergy now seem to think that the way to be true to the faith means finding something to criticise," he said.

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