Pope tells 1.3 million in Peru to get involved, spurn ‘Jonah syndrome’

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LIMA – Bidding farewell to Peru and South America, Pope Francis urged Catholics on Sunday, January 21, to avoid the urge to pull away upon seeing something terrible or difficult, just as the prophet Jonah did when he was charged to proclaim the Lord’s judgment on the city of Nineveh but instead became terrified and fled.

“Our cities, with their daily situations of pain and injustice, can leave us tempted to flee, to hide, to run away,” he said. “Jonah, and us, we have plenty of excuses to do so.”

The pope called on the faithful to be involved in the problems facing the world and not to be afraid of action.

“Today,” he said, “the Lord calls each of you to walk with him in the city, in your city.”

Pope Francis made his comments on the end of his visit to Peru, which followed on the heels of his visit to Chile. The pope was celebrating a public Mass on a Peruvian air base for an
estimated 1.3 million attendees. The Mass marked the conclusion of a trip that began on
January 15. Pope Francis arrived back in Rome on January 22.

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