Pope Francis, leading a Good Friday benefit, was asking God for forgiveness for wrongdoings in the Catholic Church. He also asked for forgiveness for the disgrace of humanity becoming hurt by scenes of immigrants and bombing cities.
Francis attended a traditional Way of the Cross candlelight service along with around 20,000 others. Security heavily protected the area after the recent European attacks.
Francis sat watching while presenting a huge wooden cross, stopping fourteen times to honor events in Jesus’ last hours of life. Christians around the world gathers to attend similar services, called the Stations of the Cross.
Pope Francis read a self-sritten prayer at the end of the two-hour service, focusing on the theme of hope and shame.
His prayer seems to reference the sexual abuse scandals surrounding the church. He was speaking on shame for those in higher positions of the church having involvement in scandals.
For almost two decades, the Catholic Churches have struggled to move past the child sexual abuse scandals. However, critics feel that we need to do more for punishment of priests who were caught covering abuse.
The Pope also spoke of shame revolving around the daily bloodshed of innocent immigrants facing punishment over their religion, race, or social status. He also mentioned shame for all of the destruction that has become ordinary on a daily basis.
Pope Francis is travelling to Egypt near the end of April, an area that also has Islamist attacks. Last Sunday, dozens of civilians died in an attack.
However, on the day Francis spoke, over 2,000 migrants trying to reach Europe were taken from the Mediterranean in a series of rescues. Unfortunately, one person was dead. Over 650 individuals are lost or have died attempting to cross the sea this year.
Pope Francis was expressing hope that good will overpower the evil in the world. Regardless of how impossible it seems right now.
They increased security surrounding the Colosseum after the recent pedestrian truck attacks in Stockholm and London. Around 3,000 officers were guarding the area and checking them as they came in. They also closed down the Colosseum subway stop.