Pope Francis continues U.S. voyage in New York


Pope Francis continues U.S. voyage in New York

Follow all the latest news from New York City during Pope Francis' visit.

Pope leads Mass at Madison Square Garden

by The Associated Press

Pope Francis praised big cities for their diversity and culture but warned that they can also make their people feel they don't belong, shunning them and treating them like second-class citizens.

During a Mass at Madison Square Garden, Francis emphasized a point he has made throughout his U.S. trip: the need to welcome foreigners and marginalized people.

In his homily he also cited "children who go without schooling, those deprived without medical insurance, the homeless, the forgotten elderly.''

He says God "frees us from anonymity, from a life of emptiness and selfishness.'' He also says, "God is living in our cities,'' and so is the church. 

Pope Francis captivated a New York venue that more commonly showcases rock stars and pro athletes than religious leaders.

He road around the floor of Madison Square Garden in a golf cart, to gleeful screams from the crowd, before celebrating Mass at the arena.

He waved, smiled and accepted some flowers and other gifts.

By his preference, Francis will sit in a simple oak chair built by day laborers working for a charity, rather than by expert craftsmen.

About 200 deacons and 150 volunteers are set to assist him in giving Holy Communion.

The Mass for 18,000 people is the final event on his New York City trip. He leaves for Philadelphia on Saturday morning.

Pope on Parade through Central Park 

Pope Francis greeted tens of thousands of people as he drove through New York City's Central Park, a processional that marked his biggest public event in the city.

An ear-piercing roar rose from the crowd as his open-sided popemobile made its way slowly through the park.

Francis stood and waved to the crowd surging against barricades as the vehicle made its roughly 15-minute trip, flanked by police vehicles and officers on foot. Both sides of the Central Park road became a sea of arms holding up cellphones.

Some 80,000 people received tickets to the processional. It was added to the pope's packed schedule to allow more people to see him, and vice versa.

The pope is now on his way to celebrate Mass at Madison Square Garden as he wraps up a day of activities in New York.

 Pope Francis waves as he rides through Central Park in a Papal motorcade on September 25, 2015 in New York City. The Pope is in New York on a two-day visit. He spoke at the United Nations General-Assembly earlier and will lead a Mass in Madison Square Garden tonight. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images) 

Pope Francis visits an inner city school in Harlem
Pope Francis touches a student's face as he visits Our Lady Queen of Angels School in East Harlem, New York, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015. (Tony Gentile/ Pool Photo via AP) 

Pope Francis recalled the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous words as the pontiff speaks to children in a New York City school where many are poor and minorities.

Francis told the children from Our Lady Queen of Angels School and other Catholic schools that King's dream of equal opportunity was a hope that children like them could get an education.

The pope says "it is beautiful to have dreams'' and to be able to fight for them.

It's the second time Francis has mentioned the civil rights leader and Baptist minister during the pope's first visit to the United States. Francis told Congress on Thursday that King's dream ``continues to inspire us all.''

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