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Pope leaves South Korea

Mon 18 Aug 2014
By Antony Bushfield

Pope Francis is on his way back to Rome after a five day trip to South Korea.

The Holy Father's stay in South Korea has seen him give an open air mass to 50,000 Catholics, attend a youth festival and beatify 123 Korean's who died because of their faith.

In his homily at Daejeon World Cup Stadium on Friday the Pontiff urged young people to be a force of renewal and hope for society.

"May they combat the allure of a materialism that stifles authentic spiritual and cultural values and the spirit of unbridled competition which generates selfishness and strife.

"May they also reject inhuman economic models which create new forms of poverty and marginalise workers," he said.

It was the first Papal visit to Asia in more than two decades despite the number of believers rapidly increasing on the continent.

He also led a mass for Peace and Reconciliation between the two Koreas.

During a meeting with South Korean government officials he said: "Korea's quest for peace is a cause close to our hearts, for it affects the stability of the entire area and indeed of our whole war-weary world".

North Korea refused to send any representatives.

This was the  third pontifical visit to South Korea.

St. John Paul went to the country twice in 1984 and 1989 whilst Benedict never visited during his 8 year papacy.

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