Pope notes: Francis says the rich shouldn't rule the world

Taking his eco-friendly message to the masses, Pope Francis called for a new system of global justice based on human rights and care for the environment rather than economic profits.

"The goods of the Earth are meant for everyone," the Pope said, "and however much someone may parade his property, it has a social mortgage."

Francis' call for environmental protection, a prevalent theme in his papacy, came on the second full day of his weeklong tour of South America. He was speaking to a group of civic leaders and indigenous people at San Francisco Church in Quito, Ecuador's capital city.

Later this week, Francis will visit Bolivia and Paraguay. Like Ecuador, both countries are home to vast natural resources but also problems like deforestation, pollution and widespread poverty.

In recent months, indigenous groups have protested Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, saying that his promotion of drilling and mining near the Amazon rainforest could ruin their ancestral homeland.

On Tuesday night, the Pope left little doubt about whose side he takes.

"The tapping of natural resources, which are so abundant in Ecuador, must not be concerned with short-term benefits," Francis said.


Lecturing students and teachers


Earlier on Tuesday, the Pope told Catholic students and educators that the purpose of education is not to boost our social status or pad our bank accounts, but to find creative ways to help the poor and save the environment.

In an impassioned speech -- it was as animated as Francis has been thus far in his South American trip -- the Pope raised his voice, urging students to "make a fuss" and telling teachers not to "play the professor."

The setting for Tuesday's speech was the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, where a crowd of thousands gathered under drizzling skies.

"My question to you, as educators, is this: Do you watch over your students, helping them to develop a critical sense, an open mind capable of caring for today's world?" the Pope asked. "Are you able to encourage them not to disregard the world around them?"

That kind of education, Francis said, only takes place outside of the classroom. Like a teacher underlining an important point -- Francis taught high school and was rector of a college in Argentina -- the Pope raised his voice and pumped his arms.

"As a university, as educational institutions, as teachers and students, life itself challenges us to answer this question: What does the world need us for? Where is your brother?"

He urged the students, who cheered at the mention of their name, that the mark of a good education is a feeling of "greater responsibility, in the face of today's problems, to the needs of the poor, concern for the environment."

Those two themes, poverty and care for creation, are intricately intertwined, the Pope argued in his recent encyclical, "Laudato Si." Vatican officials said that Pope Francis chose the nations on this trip to highlight the political and spiritual lessons contained in the 180-page letter to the world.

3 ways Pope Francis is shaking up the church: Politics, places and people

Tuesday was Pope Francis' second full day in Ecuador, the first stop on an eight-day trip that will also take him to Bolivia and Paraguay.

He celebrated a Mass Tuesday morning at Bicentennial Park in Quito, Ecuador's capital. Crowds were in place for hours -- as was the choir, which sang a song about "Santo Padre" (Holy Father) almost all morning.

More than 1 million Catholics turned out for the Mass, organizers say. The lines for Holy Communion were quite long.

Massive crowds gather for Pope's Mass




Massive crowds gather for Pope's Mass 02:06

In his homily (sermon), Francis connected the themes of political liberty and religious evangelism, drawing loud cheers from the crowd. He noted that Bicentennial Park commemorates Ecuador's independence from Spain and called on Catholics to set aside their differences and be "builders of unity."

The Pope continued an early theme of his visit at the Mass: focusing on faith rather than geopolitics. Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, has tried to portray Francisas a close ally, but the pontiff has kept his rhetorical distance, declining to explicitly endorse the embattled Ecuadorian.

Here are three key quotes from the Pope's homily Tuesday morning:

-- "Our unity can hardly shine forth if spiritual worldliness makes us feud among ourselves in a futile quest for power, prestige, pleasure or economic security."

-- "Evangelization does not consist in proselytizing ... but in attracting by our witness those who are far off, in humbly drawing near to those who feel distant from God and the church, those who are fearful or indifferent ..."

-- "How beautiful it would be if we could admire how much we care for one another, how we encourage and help each other."

News Courtesy: www.cnn.com

On Monday


On Monday, at another Mass, the Pope focused his sermon on the family and hinted that changes that some Catholics might consider "scandalous" could be coming to the church.

Francis was a bit vague about what he had in mind, but he said that bishops meeting this fall will be looking for "concrete solutions" to some of the challenges facing modern families. Most likely, he was referring to how the church ministers to divorced Catholics and LGBT families.

Pope says families need a miracle, hints at 'scandalous' changes for the church

After the Mass, the Pope met an old friend and had lunch with the Jesuit community. (Francis is the first Jesuit pope.) He also took many, many selfies throughout the day and shook many, many hands.

It took Francis nearly an hour to get through the line Monday night at the presidential palace. He's 78, but he has the smile and the stamina of a much younger man.

It's clear that Ecuadorians are super excited about seeing the first Latin American Pope's on his first trip to Spanish-speaking countries. This gallery of papal memorabilia conveys some of the essence.