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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis in General Audience: “It was striking to see how far human cruelty can go”

Despite being tired after four days of travel in the Baltic countries, the pope did not miss his weekly appointment with the pilgrims in St. Peter's Square.

He said that during his visit to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia on the occasion of their 100 years of independence, one of his missions was to recall how important it is to give meaning to the freedom they regained after the Nazi and Soviet occupation.

“The purpose of my visit was to announce once again the joy of the Gospel and the revolution of mercy and tenderness, because freedom alone cannot give full meaning to life without love, God’s love.”

Pope Francis explained that his visit to the Museum of Occupation and the struggle for Freedom in Vilnius, Lithuania, touched him especially.

“I stopped to pray in the same rooms where the regime's opponents were arrested, tortured and murdered. They murdered about forty people a night. It was striking to see how far human cruelty can go. Let's think about this.”

The pope explained that it was an important journey as after so many years of suffering, people have put aside their faith, especially in Latvia and Estonia.