Pope hosts mass for 1 million in Madagascar

Pope denounces exploitation of Madagascar’s unique resources

Pope denounces exploitation of Madagascar’s unique resources

The massive crowd, estimated by organisers to be as big as one million, had waited patiently from the early hours to see the first pope to visit the poor Indian Ocean island nation in 30 years.

Many people wore pope-emblazoned white and yellow caps - the colours of the Vatican, and cheered as the pope-mobile made its way through wind-swept clouds of red dust at the sprawling site near Soamandrakizay.

After mass the pontiff will discuss over with Akamasoa, a metropolis based mostly by Argentian priest Father Pedro, who has lifted thousands of Malagasy kill-pickers out of poverty.

Worshippers attend an overnight vigil on the eve of a Mass that will be celebrated by Pope Francis at the Soamandrakizay esplanade in Antananarivo, Madagascar, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019.

"This is not part of God's plan", he said September 8, celebrating Mass on a dusty, red dirt field on the outskirts of Antananarivo.

Some have described it as the biggest public gathering in Madagascar's history.

During his address the Pope condemned those who "abused the name of God" to justify acts of murder of violence.

"We are going to divide worshippers into groups of 1,000 because the road is very unsafe".

Hery Saholimanana left his house in the early hours with three family members. "At this time pickpockets and bandits are out to mug people", he told AFP. 'I'm jumpy of arriving after the six o'clock entry limit, ' said the 23-year worn IT pupil, strolling briskly.

Rado Niaina, 29, stated he left even earlier, at 2am, for worry "of not discovering house". Many had already characteristic up tents on the outskirts of the metropolis on Friday, festooned with posters of the pontiff.

Pope denounces exploitation of Madagascar’s unique resources

Prospere Ralitason, a 70-year-old farm employee, arrived with some 5,000 fellow pilgrims from the city of Ambatondrazaka, 125 miles away.

"The Master demands that we see beyond this".

In his greeting to the pope, Opeka said much of Madagascar's poverty is due to indifference, by society at large and its leaders.

Thousands of former slum dwellers, many of them children, gave the pope an ecstatic welcome, leaving him seemingly overwhelmed by the experience, who only hours earlier defended the poor in the homily of a huge open-air Mass.

The leader of the Catholic Church encouraged the youth not to fall into "bitterness" or to lose hope, even when they lacked the "necessary minimum" to get by and when "educational opportunities were insufficient".

Madagascar - famed for its enormous range of natural world - is house to 25million individuals, the overwhelming majority of whom dwell in poverty on an earnings of lower than two a day.

"As we look around us, how many men and women, young people and children are suffering and in utter need".

The closing pope to discuss over with Madagascar used to be John Paul II 30 years ago.

Addressing Madagascar's president, Andry Rajoelina, his cabinet and other officials, Francis said some people were profiting from excessive deforestation and the associated loss of species.

Weeks after a spike in fires in the Amazon, the Argentine pontiff told his hosts they should "create jobs and money-making activities which respect the environment and help people escape poverty".