Pope calls Latin America the 'continent of hope'

 Pope Benedict XVI called Latin America the "continent of hope" in the final Mass of his visit to Brazil, held at the shrine of Aparecida yesterday. A crowd of around 150,000, waving flags from many Latin American countries greeted the Pope as he arrived in his popemobile for the open-air Mass. Many had slept out overnight in order the get a glimpse of him. Speaking outside the Basilica of Our Lady, one of the world's largest cathedrals, the Pope said the Catholic Church would grow by attracting new members, not by proselytising to reluctant audiences. "This is the faith that has made Latin America the 'continent of hope'", the Pope said. "Not a political ideology, not a social movement, not an economic system," he said. Later in the day, before leaving for Rome, the Pope was due to give the opening address to major conference of Latin American bishops, which will discuss the role of the Church in Latin America. Aparecida is home to the shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, one of the patron saints of Brazil. Source: VIS

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