Pope prays before Shroud of Turin, talks value of work and gender equality

By Ed Adamczyk Contact the Author   |  June 22, 2015 at 10:16 AM
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TURIN , Italy, June 22 (UPI) -- Pope Francis visited Turin, Italy, and spent time praying before the Shroud of Turin, believed by many to be Jesus Christ's burial cloth.

The Pope also addressed an audience of workmen Sunday in the city's Piazzetta Reale, noting, "A job isn't only necessary for economic reasons but for the human being, for his dignity, his citizenship and for social inclusion. Immigration increases competition, but we don't have to blame the migrants because they are victims of inequality, of this throwaway economy and the wars. It's sad to see the spectacle of this last period, where human beings are treated as goods."

He also offered comments supporting women's rights and opposing gender-based job discrimination, before visiting the Little House of Divine Providence, a church dedicated to the ill and disabled.

Referring to his Turin visit as a "homecoming," he noted the shroud, which appears to bear the image of a man resembling Jesus Christ as seen in paintings, "attracts towards the face and the martyred body of Jesus and at the same time pushes us towards the face of those who suffer or are unjustly persecuted. It pushes us in the direction of the gift that is Jesus' love."

The Shroud of Turin's authenticity has been a debate for centuries within the Catholic Church. In 1958 Pope Pius XII approved of the image as an object of veneration, and it remains respected by the Catholic Church and other denominations.

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