Pope holds first public mass in South Korea

Pope Francis urged Asia's Catholic youth to renounce the materialism that afflicts much of their society at his first public mass in South Korea. The Pontiff is currently on a tour of the country.

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Huge crowds for South Korea Pope Mass

Credit: Reuters

Vast crowds gathered in Seoul's Gwanghwamun Square in South Korea as Pope Francis delivered a beatification mass for 124 Catholic martyrs.

Beatification is the last step before sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church.

Credit: Reuters\Pool

In his homily before a crowd of hundreds of thousands, Francis said the martyrs' courage and charity and their rejection of the rigid social structures of their day should be an inspiration for people today.

Credit: Reuters

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Pope shuns luxury in South Korea with small car

Pope Francis has surprised South Koreans during his visit to the country by shunning an expensive luxury car to travel in a compact car instead.

After arriving at the airport he climbed into the backseat of a a Kia Soul - the manufacturer's second smallest model.

Pope Francis has refused to use a bullet-proof "popemobile" like his predecessors in favour of low-key cars.

His choice of car has received wide coverage in South Korea, where ostentatious shows of wealth usually represent a person's status.

Pope Francis makes historic South Korea visit

Credit: Reuters

Pope Francis has arrived in South Korea on the first papal visit to the Asian nation in 25 years, stepping off a plane on to a red carpet and greeting the president, Catholics and grieving relatives of the recent ferry disaster.

During his five-day visit, Francis plans to beatify 124 Korean martyrs and encourage a vibrant and growing local church seen as a model for the future of Catholicism.

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