Pope focuses on charity during visit to underprivileged Lisbon neighborhood

Pope focuses on charity during visit to underprivileged Lisbon neighborhood

Throughout the World Youth Day gathering, the Pope has been emphasizing the church’s inclusivity

By Alyssa Mcmurtry

MADRID (AA ) - Pope Francis visited an underprivileged neighborhood in Portugal’s capital on Friday, where he praised the charitable work of the Catholic Church and encouraged followers to be more selfless.

“If we want to be truly happy, let us learn to transform everything into love, offering to others our work and our time, speaking kind words and doing good deeds,” he told charity workers in the Lisbon neighborhood of Serafina.

The Pope, continuing the message of inclusivity that he has been pushing during his busy trip to Lisbon, called on followers to show concrete signs of love, reject sanitized lives and reflect on how they view poverty and sickness.

Some residents of the neighborhood were happy about the Pope’s visit and message. Tomas, 11, who is part of a neighborhood group, told the Portuguese Daily Diario de Noticias that this year’s World Youth Day is showing others “that they have to accept each and every person. We are all different, and we have to enjoy being as life makes us.”

Pope Francis arrived in Lisbon on Wednesday. In his opening mass Thursday, he led a crowd of around 500,000 young Catholics from around the world, chanting “everyone” in all their languages to highlight that everyone is welcome in the church.

During the gathering, an LGBT mass has been held, and on Friday, Pope Francis told the Spanish newspaper Vida Nueva that trans people are “children of God.”

Since he has been in Lisbon, the Pope also met with survivors of clergy sexual abuse and slammed Portugal’s Catholic hierarchy for covering up and ignoring the scandal for years.

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