Pope ends day of events in Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) – Pope Francis is at the Vatican ambassador’s residence in Mexico City.

Unlike Friday night, when the popemobile passed through the residence’s gates, Francis had his small Fiat sedan stopped just outside. He exited the car and spent several minutes blessing people in the crowd, placing his hand on their heads and kissing children held out to him.

On Friday night, Francis came out of the gate nearly an hour after arriving and spoke to the assembled crowd.

Saturday night’s stop before entering could indicate the very tired pontiff doesn’t plan any more activities for the night.

He returned to the residence after celebrating Mass at the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico City and spending several minutes praying privately in front of the Virgin’s image.

Earlier, the pope demanded that Mexican bishops courageously challenge the “insidious threat” posed by the drug trade, saying the Catholic hierarchy must help Mexicans escape the violence and corruption plaguing their nation and not hide behind their own privilege and careers.

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