The Pope Francis spoke to reporters on his flight to Poland for World Youth Day
The world is at war, but it is not a war of religions, Pope Francis has said as he traveled to Poland on his first visit to Central and Eastern Europe in the shadow of the slaying of a priest in France.
The killing of an 85-year-old priest in a Normandy church on Tuesday. Added to security fears surrounding Francis’s five-day visit for the World Youth Day celebrations, which were already high due to a string of violent attacks in France and Germany. Polish officials say they have deployed tens of thousands of security officials to cover the event.Francis spoke to reporters on the papal plane en route from Rome to Poland. Asked about the slaying of the priest, Francis replied: “It’s war, we don’t have to be afraid to say this.”
After greeting reporters on his papal plane he returned to the topic to clarify that when he speaks of war, he is speaking of “a war of interests, for money, resources. … I am not speaking of a war of religions. Religions don’t want war. The others want war.”
Upon arrival at Kraków airport a pensive Francis was greeted by Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda and other state officials, and hundreds of faithful who had waited for hours to see him.
The Polish army band played the anthems of the Vatican and of Poland.
“Let’s live WYD in Kraków together!” the Pontiff tweeted before departing from Rome for Krakow, southern Poland, on Wednesday afternoon.Just hours before Francis’s arrival, groups of cheerful young pilgrims were seen in the streets of Kraków.
Relics of St Mary Magdalene came to the church from France, for the duration of World Youth Day, and were displayed in a case by the altar.
“Their presence helps us concentrate on our prayers and brings us closer to God,” said Nounella Blanchedent, 22, from the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.
She was one of the volunteers helping with security and logistics at the packed St Casimir Church, where a Mass was being celebrated in French for pilgrims from France, Belgium and other countries.
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Source : cahtolicsay