Copacabana Beach dazzled last night as many, many thousands of worshippers (perhaps as many as 3 million according) celebrated mass and a vigil with Pope Francis on World Youth Day, the final day of his tour to South America, the first such trip of his pontificate.

His Holiness certainly has the common touch. Watch here for him donning a sombrero while on the way to say mass.

The faithful were treated to a blast of this Pope’s muscular message. He is trying to renew the Church after its recent travails, which many believe to have led to the reported revival of protestant churches around the world and particularly in South America. Pope Francis speaks plainly. He said:

‘At times we lose people because they don’t understand what we are saying, because we have forgotten the language of simplicity and import an intellectualism foreign to our people. Without the grammar of simplicity, the church loses the very conditions which make it possible to fish for God in the deep waters of his mystery.’

Contained in those two simple sentences is the essence of what Damian Thompson described in this recent cover piece on the evangelical revival in the Catholic and Anglican churches.  Liberation theory and economic justice are out; God and Satan are in.

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Tags: Catholic Church, Pope Francis, Religion