VATICAN CITY, April 1 (UPI) -- Pope Benedict XVI stressed unity in his Palm Sunday homily before thousands of people in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City.
The pope told the story of Jesus' journey to Jerusalem, which ultimately culminated in his crucifixion. A crowd of pilgrims joined him in his journey, giving "a cry of blessing, a hymn of exultation," the pope said.
"Thus, in the light of Christ, humanity sees itself profoundly united and, as it were, enfolded within the cloak of divine blessing, a blessing that permeates, sustains, redeems and sanctifies all things," he said.
"Here we find the first great message that today's feast brings us: the invitation to adopt a proper outlook upon all humanity, on the peoples who make up the world, on its different cultures and civilizations."
The Palm Sunday address came two days after the pope returned to Vatican City from his first trip to Latin America.
The pope denounced the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba just before boarding his plane at Havana Airport, ANSA reported.
CNN reported the pope also decried the drug war in Mexico, as well as Cuba's Marxist political system, saying it "no longer corresponds to reality."
"No one should feel excluded from taking up this exciting search by the limitations of their basic freedoms, or excused from this indolence or lack of material resources -- a situation which is worsened when restrictive economic measures, imposed from outside the country, unfairly burden its people," he said.