PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WHTM) – Pope Francis filed into the basilica and spoke to the clergy that filled the pews.
He spoke in Spanish and a translator broke down the language barrier. Pope Francis called on all Catholics to break down the rest.
“I would like to think though that the church of this city and this state is a story not about building walls but about breaking them down”, said Pope Francis.
He repeatedly used two words that a previous Pope asked of Pennsylvania Katherine Drexel, “Y tu”.
And you? What are you doing? Words that inspired Drexel to great works and Francis says they should spur the clergy to attend to the poor, the sick, the elderly and the imprisoned. Reach out to the young and embrace the role of women.
Pope Francis said, “It means valuing the immense contribution which women lay and religious have made and continue to make to the life of our communities”.
But Pope Francis did not address clergy sex abuse, and victims are angry.
State Representative Mark Rozzi of Berks County was abused by a priest in the 80’s. He doesn’t think the church, headed by Pope Francis is doing enough for the victims.
“I could care less. I really do for a victim of clergy sexual abuse it’s really frustrating because you see all these people getting excited about him coming to Philadelphia. At the same time, we’ve been fighting for justice and being shut out by the catholic conference. I don’t really care” said Mark Rozzi.
The Vatican spokesman wouldn’t say if Pope Francis will meet with abuse victims in Philadelphia and said even if he does he wouldn’t announce it.
Pope Francis said farewell to the priests with a familiar request, to pray for him.