In a Vélodrome stadium with around 60 thousand people present, the Supreme Pontiff called in particular for an end to the conflict in Ukraine and paid tribute to the victims of terrorism in the world.
Francis considered that European societies are “sick”, which is why he urged an end to cynicism, disenchantment, resignation, uncertainty and the general feeling of sadness.
“We need to rediscover passion and enthusiasm, rediscover the taste for commitment to fraternity, risk even more the risk of love in families and towards the weakest, and find in the Gospel a grace that transforms and beautifies life,” he warned on the second and last day in Marseille.
Before the mass, the Holy Father spoke with the French president, Emmanuel Macron, about migration –the central theme of his trip– and the bill outlined by the French government on the controversial issue of active assistance in dying. .
He also participated in the closing of the Mediterranean Meetings, a forum in which he evoked the tragedy of migrants and the indifference towards them.
Migrants do not invade, they seek hospitality, he stated at the event that brought together bishops from almost 30 countries and young people from the region, whose closing day Macron attended.
According to the Supreme Pontiff, human beings fleeing conflicts, poverty and environmental tragedies must be welcomed, protected, promoted and integrated.
The Pope’s words occurred in the context of a new crisis due to the arrival of migrants to the Italian island of Lampedusa and the refusal of European countries to receive them, including France, which brought forward the deportation of those who do not meet the requirements for the asylum.
“It is true that it is not easy to integrate, but the main criterion cannot be one’s own benefit. Those who take refuge in us should not consider themselves a burden to bear,” he stressed.
In the peculiar “popemobile” Francisco took a town bath this afternoon during a tour along Prado Avenue.