Pope Francis' Palm Sunday message might still be lingering in some people's minds. However, the leader of the Catholic church delivered another powerful message on Good Friday. The pope presided over the traditional Good Friday processional that lasted 90 minutes. The procession was similar to the Stations of the Cross ceremonies in a lot of Christian churches representing the path Jesus walked on his way to the cross. Scriptures and meditations were recited so participants could reflect on the sufferings Jesus encountered on the day he was crucified.

Pope Francis' Good Friday message

After the procession, Pope Francis read a prayer that expressed shame for humanity's failings. Francis encouraged listeners to look to Christ with eyes lowered in shame during this time of year when so much evil is present. It was also brought out that there should be hope that hardened hearts will become capable of forgiving and loving.

Meaning of the message

Pope Francis pointed out that shameful acts have been routine. He gave examples of the thousands of migrants who have endured hardships trying to reach Europe. Many of them have perished at sea. The pope mentioned the attacks on Christian minorities and innocent blood shed daily by women, children and others who are persecuted because of their race, ethnicity, social group or for their faith in Jesus Christ.

He added that there should be shame on the priests, bishops, and other clergies for scandalizing the church with their sexual abuse of minors.

Tight security

The Good Friday service in St. Peter's Basilica was attended by about 20,000 people, and security was tight. Hours before the service everyone had to go through two rounds of security checks because of the recent bombings of churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday that killed 45 people.

There were lots of policemen on hand to check handbags and backpacks of all who attended, including men, women, and children.

Never before has there been so much precaution. Many of the streets surrounding the Colosseum were closed to traffic. Intersections were blocked by armored trucks. Dogs were used to sniff out the entire area.

Police checked toilets for explosives. These precautionary measures were because of the recent attacks in Nice, Berlin and other places where large crowds gathered.

Everything went on without any problems during Pope Francis' Good Friday message. The Coptic churches in Egypt where the bombings took place on Palm Sunday have announced that Easter services will be limited to only prayers. There will be no festivities.

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