Later Saturday, the pope spoke to grass-roots organizations, continuing his message of inclusiveness and heeding the call of the poor.

Cazal married Sergio Lopez, who is also involved in SOMOSGAY, in 2012 in neighboring Argentina, the first South American nation to legalize such unions.

The last pope who so boldly placed himself at the center of the global moment was John Paul II, who during the 1980s pushed the church to confront what many saw as the challenge of that era, communism. It’s directly next to the tiny San Juan chapel, by far the smallest place of worship the Pontiff will visit during his eight-day journey throughout Latin America.

“A more humane society is possible”, the Pope said, pointing to the experience of the Jesuit reductions.

“We have to go”. He also made numerous historical pronouncements and railed against ideologies. Their numbers are disputed.

Juan Maria Carron, a Paraguayan sociology professor and church expert, said Francis is creating new expectations for how future pontiffs should act.

Beginning in the 1500s, Spanish conquerors, with the blessing of the Church, subjugated and enslaved indigenous peoples in the Americas, annihilating native cultures and forcing their conversion to Christianity. Paraguay is considered one of the most corrupt countries in the world, ranked 150 out of 174 by Transparency worldwide.

“Then and now, you found the strength not to let this land lose its bearings”, he said to wild cheers from the crowd. “God bless the women of Paraguay, the most glorious women of America”.

“Welcome those who don’t think like us, those who don’t have faith or have lost their faith”.

What are your views on Pope Francis’ speeches? The huge crowd was delighted to hear the pope deliver the Lord’s Prayer in Guarani, the language of the country’s indigenous people, spoken by 80 per cent of the population. Francis is in Paraguay for three days, the la…

“Being here with you makes me feel at home”, Francis said in his homily.

During his homecoming tour of South America, he urged the world to take better care of the environment and championed the rights of the poor. Argentina’s blue and white flag and its national team football jersey were ubiquitous among the mate tea-sipping faithful. There, saying he too had made mistakes and sinned, the pope called on inmates to shun gang violence and exhorted guards to treat them with dignity. While in Paraguay, Francis wil…

He also asked them to pray for a police officer who was kidnapped a year ago by leftist rebels of the EPP, or People’s Paraguayan Army.