Pope urges believers to take action against crime, lack of housing

LIMA: Pope Francis on Saturday urged Catholics in Peru to take “action” against organised violence and to demand security and housing, saying they should not “treat as natural things that hurt us.” “Storms” faced by communities include “organised violence, like contract killings… the lack of educational and employment opportunities… the lack of secure housing for so many families forced to live in highly unstable areas without safe access,” the pope told believers at a Mass celebrated on a beach in Trujillo.

The northern Peruvian city of more than 800,000 residents experienced torrential rains attributed to the climatic phenomenon known as Coastal El Nino a year ago. More than 150 people were killed. “[When] you felt the brunt of the Nino… you had the oil of solidarity and generosity that stirred you to action, and you went out to meet the Lord with countless concrete gestures of support,” the pope said. The Argentinian pope, 81, was welcomed at Trujillo airport by 70 couples performing a folkloric dance. The area where the Mass was celebrated in Trujillo was filled to the brim. — dpa