VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis, celebrating one of Latin America's most important feast days, on Friday called on the continent of his birth to find "new models of development" to help the poor, the suffering and those he said "hunger for justice."
The pope made his comments in a homily at a colorful mass sung in Spanish to mark the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, one of Latin America's most revered religious figures.
"We ask that the future of Latin America be forged for the poor and those who suffer, those who hunger and thirst for justice," said the Argentine pope, who has often attacked the global economic system for failing to share wealth.
Departing from his homily, the pope prayed for victims of what he called an "idolatrous system of a throwaway culture, those who have been relegated to a category of slaves, objects of exploitation, or simply scrap."
The ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica included traditional music and singing by a chorus, and a performance of "Missa Criolla," or Creole Mass by late Argentine musician Ariel Ramirez, conducted by the composer's son.