NEW YORK (WWLP) – There have been clear themes of unity and respect in the Pope’s messages throughout his trip through the U.S. We’ve heard a lot about respect for the world we share, and on Friday it was about respect for each other.
“This world is multicultural. Different customs, different religions, different beliefs.” It was one of the first messages the Holy Father spoke to the United Nations General Assembly Friday morning; “Be close to one another. Respect one another.”
It’s a sentiment he carried with him to the 9/11 memorial, for a multi-faith ceremony with local heads of world religions; Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh.
We’ve heard several comments from Pope Francis this trip about working toward and protecting the common good; this interfaith service is once again his leading by example, joining those of other faiths to overcome differences in ideology to appreciate and pray for common goals.
The faithful arrived early Friday morning hoping for a glimpse of the Holy Father as he arrived or left the unique service. Spirits were high. Lilian Ciesco of Connecticut told 22News, “Folks have been singing and the energy is wonderful. It definitely feels like even if we don’t actually see him, the Holy Spirit is here.”
However, even those who might not identify as religious can still find something to appreciate about the Holy Father’s message on morality. Brendan Mullarkey of New York said, “War is not the answer, violence is not the answer. Enough is enough with the extremism no matter what your faith is. Let’s work on a common goal to make this place better. ”
The 9/11 memorial was a fitting setting for a service that promoted peace and reconciliation. Speaking to the crowd, Pope Francis said, this place of death became a place of life too. A hymn to the triumph of good over evil.
The final event in New York City was Friday evening, celebrating Mass with thousands of the faithful at Madison Square Garden. Saturday morning it’s off to Philadelphia to begin the World Meeting of Families weekend.
22News will have Live Coverage with 22News I-Team Reporter Laura Hutchinson all weekend. Make sure to follow 22News on-air and on WWLP.com.
If you plan on going to see the Pope, send u your picture through our Report-it Feature.