The Latest: Police: 1.2M turn out for Pope's last Peru Mass

Pope Francis arrives to celebrate Mass at Las Palmas Air Base in Lima, Peru, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis arrives for a mid-morning prayer with contemplative nuns at the Shrine of Our Lord of the Miracles in Lima, Peru, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. Francis is wrapping up the most contested, violent trip of his papacy Sunday with a series of meetings with Peruvian church leaders and a final Mass at an air base in Peru's capital.(AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis arrives on the pope mobile to celebrate Mass at the Las Palmas Air Base in Lima, Peru, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis leaves after giving the Angelus prayer in Plaza de Armas in Lima, Peru, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis waves to people in Plaza de Armas after giving the Angelus prayer in Lima, Peru, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
A woman is carried away in a chair by firefighters due to heat exhaustion while waiting for the start of a Mass with Pope Francis at the Las Palmas Air Force base in Lima, Peru, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Karel Navarro)
Pope Francis prays during a mid-morning prayer with contemplative nuns at the Shrine of Our Lord of the Miracles in Lima, Peru, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. Francis is wrapping up the most contested, violent trip of his papacy Sunday with a series of meetings with Peruvian church leaders and a final Mass at an air base in Peru's capital.(AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis delivers his speech during the Angelus prayer, from a balcony overlooking Plaza de Armas in Lima, Peru, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis makes his way to the Shrine of Our Lord of the Miracles to attend a mid-morning prayer with contemplative nuns, in Lima, Peru, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. Francis is wrapping up the most contested, violent trip of his papacy Sunday with a series of meetings with Peruvian church leaders and a final Mass at an air base in Peru's capital. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
CORRECTS IDENTITY OF FLAG TO PUERTO RICAN - A pocket of light illuminates a Puerto Rican national flag held by a nun listening to Pope Francis during a mid-morning prayer with contemplative nuns at the Shrine of Our Lord of the Miracles in Lima, Peru, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. Francis is wrapping up the most contested, violent trip of his papacy Sunday with a series of meetings with Peruvian church leaders and a final Mass at an air base in Peru's capital.(AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis arrives to celebrate Mass at the Las Palmas Air Force base in Lima, Peru, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Karel Navarro)
Pope Francis arrives to celebrate Mass at the Las Palmas Air Force base in Lima, Peru, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Karel Navarro)
Pope Francis delivers his blessing during the Angelus prayer overlooking Plaza de Armas, in Lima, Peru, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. At right is Peru's Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, center, arrives for Mass to be celebrated by Pope Francis at Las Palmas Air Base in Lima, Peru, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. O'Malley, the archbishop of Boston and Francis' top abuse adviser, publicly rebuked Francis on Saturday for accusing victims of Chile' most notorious pedophile priest of slandering another bishop with their claims. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Nuns wave from behind a gate as they wait for the arrival of Pope Francis for a mid-morning prayer with contemplative nuns at the Shrine of Our Lord of the Miracles in Lima, Peru, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. Francis is wrapping up the most contested, violent trip of his papacy Sunday with a series of meetings with Peruvian church leaders and a final Mass at an air base in Peru's capital.(AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
People wait for Pope Francis to arrive for Mass at the Las Palmas Air Force base in Lima, Peru, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Karel Navarro)

LIMA, Peru — The Latest on Pope Francis' visit to Peru (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

Authorities say more than 1 million people are gathered at an airbase for Pope Francis' final Mass in Peru as he concludes a restive trip to Latin America.

Juan Rivera is a 31-year-old computer engineer in attendance. He says he is hoping to hear "words of encouragement" that can help Peruvians reconcile their differences.

Many in the country are upset over the recent pardon of former strongman Alberto Fujimori, who had been sentenced to 25 years for his role in the killings of 25 people by security forces while he was president.

The nation has also been jolted by a region-wide political corruption scandal involving the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

Several women cried as Francis left the Apostolic Nunciature and blessed their rosaries.

At the airbase on Lima's southern outskirts, firefighters streamed water at the crowds under a hot sun and fluttering Vatican and Peruvian flags.

Police spokesman Veronica Marquez said 1.2 million people showed up. Vatican spokesman Greg Burke gave a figure of 1.3 million, citing local officials.

The pontiff is scheduled to return to Rome later Sunday.

___

4:25 p.m.

The American cardinal who publicly rebuked Pope Francis over his remarks about Chilean sex abuse victims is concelebrating Francis' final Mass in Peru.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley is the archbishop of Boston and Francis' top abuse adviser.

He is one of dozens of bishops and cardinals celebrating the Sunday service under a huge, tented altar set up on a dusty Lima airfield, the last event of the pontiff's weeklong visit to Chile and Peru.

O'Malley publicly rebuked Francis on Saturday for accusing victims of Chile's most notorious pedophile priest of slandering another bishop with their claims.

The cardinal said the pope's words were "a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse."

Francis is likely to face questions about the issue on his in-flight news conference while returning to Rome.

___

12:55 p.m.

Pope Francis is telling young Peruvians that God loves them as they are and there's no need to "Photoshop" their hearts to make them seem perfect.

At a noon prayer from Lima's Plaza de Armas, Francis sought to speak to young people in their own language in encouraging them in their faith.

He said: "I know we all like to see digitally enhanced photographs, but that only works for pictures; we cannot Photoshop others, the world or ourselves."

He added that "there are pictures that are very nice, but completely fake. Let me assure you that the heart can't be Photoshopped, because that's where authentic love and genuine happiness can be found."

Francis is known for his blunt speaking style. Earlier Sunday he told Peruvian bishops they need to speak the language of young people to help them understand the message of the Gospel, just as Roman Catholic missionaries learned the languages of indigenous peoples as they worked to convert them.

___

12:30 p.m.

Pope Francis is demanding that Congo authorities do everything in their power to avoid violence amid deadly anti-government demonstrations.

Francis made the appeal from the Peruvian capital, where he led thousands of young people in prayer.

He said of Congo: "I ask the authorities and those responsible and all those in this beloved country that they use maximum commitment and effort to avoid all forms of violence and look for solutions in favor of the common good."

Congolese police used tear gas and gunfire to disperse thousands of demonstrators Sunday in clashes that left five people dead and injured more than 33. The protesters had marched after church services calling for President Joseph Kabila to step down.

The United States and others have condemned Congolese security forces' response to the protests at more than 160 churches, which included tear gas being fired inside and altar boys being arrested.

Kabila, whose mandate ended in December 2016, had agreed to hold an election by the end of 2017. But Congo's election commission later said the vote could be held until December 2018.

___

12:15 p.m.

Pope Francis says the sprawling Odebrecht bribery scandal that has rippled across Latin America is "just a small anecdote" in a scourge of corruption throughout the region.

Francis said Sunday in remarks to bishops in Peru that politics in much of Latin America is in a state of "crisis" because of graft.

It is the second time he has addressed corruption during his visit to Peru, one of the countries embroiled in the Odebrecht scandal.

President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski narrowly escaped impeachment over his ties to the Brazilian construction giant in December. Two former presidents are accused of accepting bribes, and a third is under investigation.

Odebrecht had admitted to paying hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to politicians throughout the region in exchange for lucrative public works contracts.

___

9:45 a.m.

The controversy over Pope Francis' accusations of slander against victims of Chile's most notorious pedophile priest has followed him to Peru.

A banner hanging from a building near the Lima church where Francis prayed on Sunday read "Francis, here there is proof" and featured a photo of the disgraced founder of a Peru-based Catholic lay movement, Sodalitium Christianae Vitae.

The Vatican last week took over the movement after Peruvian prosecutors announced they wanted to arrest the founder, Luis Figari. An independent investigation found Figari sodomized recruits and forced them to fondle him and one another, liked to watch them "experience pain, discomfort and fear," and humiliated them in front of others.

In Chile, Francis accused victims of the country's most notorious sexual abuser, the Rev. Fernando Karadima, of slandering another bishop by saying he knew of Karadima's abuse but did nothing. Francis said there was "not one shred of proof" implicating the bishop and that the accusations against him were "calumny."

The comments caused such an outcry that Francis' top sexual abuse adviser issued a highly unusual public rebuke of the pope.

___

9:30 a.m.

Pope Francis has had a special group of visitors call on him at the Vatican's residence in Peru: four prisoners who were released for a brief spell to greet him.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said the three men and one woman came from prisons in Arequipa, Ayacucho, Cuzco and Castro.

The greeting took place before Francis presided over a morning prayer Sunday with hundreds of contemplative and cloistered nuns at the Lord of Miracles sanctuary, which features an icon of Christ that survived a devastating earthquake in 1655 and is revered by many Peruvians.

Francis urged them to dedicate their prayers to those who are "thrown away" by society, including prisoners, migrants and drug addicts.

He told them: "By your prayers you can heal the wounds of many."

Francis frequently meets with prisoners during his foreign trips and visited a women's prison in Santiago, Chile on his seven-day trip to that country and Peru. He uses the meetings to encourage those deprived of their freedom to not lose hope.

You may also interested in

Fundamentalists gain ground in Algeria as war memory fades

Aug 20, 2016

Mosques are going up, women are covering up and bars, restaurants and shops selling alcoholic beverages are shutting down in a changing Algeria where, slowly but surely, Muslim fundamentalists are gaining ground

US judge: Renowned artist didn't create disputed painting

Aug 24, 2016

A U.S. judge says that a celebrated artist was right when he insisted he didn't paint a work now owned by a retired prison worker

Sea Shepherd Australia says will continue South Ocean action

Aug 25, 2016

Sea Shepherd Australia said Thursday that a legal settlement involving the conservation group's U.S. founder will not affect its anti-whaling campaign in the Southern Ocean

Syok Asia welcomes the generations to witness the beautiful world of art and creativity in Malaysia and the rest of the world.

Contact us: sales@syokasia.com