Pope Francis has called on people across Latin America to use the gospel “to unite our hopes, concerns, ideals and even utopian visions.”
Speaking in the Ecuadorian capital Quito on Tuesday (July 7), the pontiff praised the conviction and strength in what he called the “cry for freedom” during the region’s struggle for independence against European powers two-hundred years ago.
“The bicentenary of Latin America’s cry for independence was an idea born from the absence of freedoms, a feeling of being exploited, or stripped, by those who held power,” said Pope Francis.
Over one million people attended the mass including the President of Ecuador Rafael Correa who had private talks with the pope at the presidental palace earlier in the week.
The pope’s presence has brought a temporary halt to anti-government protests over tax increases.
But not everybody in the country is happy with his visit. Some have accused the Church of curbing progress on human rights for women and gay people.