The Pope brought his visit to London to a close by presiding over prayers in Hyde Park in front of 85,000 people.
It was the end of a day marked by one of his strongest apologies yet to survivors of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests and the biggest public protest.
Earlier at a mass in Westminster Cathedral the pontiff said that paedophile priests had brought ‘shame and humiliation’ on him and the Roman Catholic Church.
The apology in his sermon was the Pope’s latest attempt to atone for the scandal that has shaken the Church profoundly, particularly in Europe and the United States.
While the pontiff was expressing his ‘deep sorrow and shame’ to a group of five British abuse survivors, 10,000 demonstrators marched through London. It was not only the biggest protest on this UK visit but the largest of any of his 17 overseas trips.
In another development, anti-terrorist police say six men who were arrested on Friday on suspicion of preparing an attack on the Pope have been released without charge.