VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is calling for renewal in the Catholic church as he wrapped up two days of mass gatherings in St. Peter's Square aimed at energizing the faithful.
About 200,000 people turned out Sunday for Mass celebrated by Francis, about the same size crowd that came to a pep rally for Catholics that the pope led the night before in the square.
Francis urged his church to be more welcoming and avoid closing in on itself. But he warned that faithful should avoid "dangerous parallel paths" outside of doctrine.
In the pope's native South America, many Catholics have defected to dynamic evangelical Protestant churches.
For a second-straight day, Francis delighted the crowd by riding in his popemobile beyond the confines of Vatican City and down a Rome boulevard.