Pope Francis had a clear message for the thousands of homeless people he welcomed to the Vatican on Friday, saying they do not have to be treated like slaves.
The pontiff was addressing around 4,000 homeless people from over 20 countries who had been invited to the Vatican to mark the end of the Holy Year of Mercy.
The head of the Catholic Church asked for forgiveness for the times when Christians had neglected the poor.
He said that the poor people were key to achieving peace and they were therefore hugely important to the world, the Church and religion.
Rita Bernzen from Haus Bethlehem, a hostel for homeless women in Hamburg, said the Pope was just as kind as he looks.
“Pope Francis seemed very much at home and just like one of us, among the homeless people, I think everyone felt that way’’, Bernzen said.
Report says homeless people from all over the world were invited to the “festival of joy and mercy”, which concludes on Sunday with a mass in St Peter’s Square.
The event marks the end of the Holy Year of Mercy.
Before meeting the homeless people, Pope Francis called for the poor to have their voice heard in politics.
“Christ spoke about a world in which the poor, weak and marginalised make the decisions, not political leaders, not criminals, but the people’’, he said.