A record six million people poured into the rain-soaked streets of Manila and its biggest park as Pope Francis ended his Asian pilgrimage with the biggest-ever papal mass.
The crowd estimate included people who attended the Pope’s final Mass in Rizal Park and surrounding areas, and lined his motorcade route, said officials in the Philippine capital.
During the mass, a 12-year-old orphan girl, Glyzelle Iris Palomar, challenged the pope to explain how God could allow innocent children who have done nothing wrong to be dragged into lives of drug addiction and prostitution. She asked:
‘Many children are abandoned by their parents. Many of them became victims and bad things have happened to them, like drug addiction and prostitution.
Why does God allow this to happen, even if the children are not at fault? Why is it that only a few people help us?’
The girl, who was rescued and found shelter in a Church-run community, broke down in tears and could not finish her prepared welcome. The Pope hugged her and later put aside most of his own prepared speech to respond.
A visibly moved Pope Francis responded thus, while speaking in his native Spanish:
‘She is the only one who has put forward a question for which there is no answer and she was not even able to express it in words but rather in tears.
‘Why do children suffer?’
As the Argentine Pope spoke, an aide translated his words into English for the crowd of about 30,000 young people on the grounds of the Church-run university. He continued:
‘I invite each one of you to ask yourselves, “Have I learned how to weep, how to cry when I see a hungry child, a child on the street who uses drugs, a homeless child, an abandoned child, an abused child, a child that society uses as a slave?”‘
Source: DailyMail UK