Pope touches masses in last day of Asia trip

On the last full day of his trip to Asia today, Pope Francis appeared to make the most visible outreach yet to China and other countries in the region that do not have diplomatic relations with the Vatican. Saying that "Christians do not come as conquerors," he urged beginning a "fraternal" dialogue.

Speaking to thousands of youth this afternoon, Pope Francis called on them to serve the marginalized and the lonely.

"Asian youth, wake up," the pope said.

The pope started his day by granting a humble wish: baptizing Lee Ho-Jin at the Vatican's embassy. Lee is the father of 16-year-old Seung-Hyun who was one of the hundreds of teenagers killed when the Sewol ferry sank in April.

Lee asked the Pope for this "huge honor" when they chatted at a private meeting for families of ferry victims on Friday. Lee took "Francis" as his baptismal name.

Describing what is was like to meet the pope, Lee says he felt a "presence" in the room and turned to see a smiling Pope Francis standing there.

"There was a lot of turmoil and pain in my heart from the [ferry] disaster," said Lee who had just been baptized by Francis.. "But after meeting the pope, I feel like a lot of that has been lifted."

We've witnessed the effect this pope has had on Koreans. On Saturday, an estimated one million people crammed into downtown Seoul.

On his way through the crowd, Pope Francis stopped to greet another father of a Sewol victim. Kim Yeong-Oh has been holding a hunger strike protest to push the Korean government for more transparency in the ferry investigation.

Days earlier, Kim said he was confidend he'd get to see the pope.

"I'm sure that I can meet him," he said. "(Because) he's always stood up for the poor and the weak."

Throughout this trip, Pope Francis wore a yellow ribbon that symbolizes the ferry disaster, another way to connect with the grieving families among the joyful masses.

  • Seth Doane

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