Pope Francis answers questions from journalists aboard his flight from Panama City to Rome, Jan. 27, 2019. Mauricio Rueda, papal trip planner.
Pope Francis says he is "terrified of a bloodbath" in Venezuela but doesn't want to pick sides in the political standoff because it's not his role as a pastor.
"To see all the flags joined together, waving in the hands of young people overjoyed to meet one another, was a prophetic sign, one that runs contrary to the current, sad tendency of conflictual nationalisms that raise walls and close themselves to universality and the encounter of peoples". "It is awful, the suffering is bad".
"We need to maintain the memory of the past alive and learn from the black pages of history so as not to make the same mistakes again", Francis said on Sunday.
The pope's worldwide Council of Cardinals suggested the summit after realizing that some bishops did not know how to address or handle the crisis on their own, he said.
Just previous year, for example, Italian bishops began developing protocols for handling cases and accompanying victims.
Pope Francis has sought to lower expectations from his big sex abuse prevention summit next month. "We have to deflate the expectations to these three points, because the problem of abuse will continue". At the same time, he emphasized that his personal opinion was against making celibacy a choice candidates made as they prepared for ordination: "Optional celibacy before the diaconate, no ... And this remains clear". "I will not do this".
The Church's response to the crisis has varied from country to country.
After the the final Mass of Pope Francis in Panama, it was announced that Portugal will be the host of as part of the 35th World Youth Journey (WYJ) Catholic event.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guido involved in a power struggle with since last Wednesday, Guido declared himself "acting President" amid violent protests over economic problems in the country.
"I would prefer to give my life before changing the law of celibacy", he said, quoting Pope Paul VI. The pontiff added that he had not contemplated the matter or prayed about it enough to issue a concrete statement on exceptions to celibacy in the priesthood.
"What is it that scares me?"
The Pope said he also appealed to adults to properly educate and form young people, so that they can find work and a place in society. "And that is why I ask for generosity from those who can help resolve the problem".
The mass came after Pope Francis posted on Twitter comparing Mary to the modern day internet "influencers".
During the 14th Station - Jesus is laid in his tomb - a young pilgrim read a reflection on all the tombs where those who have died violent deaths have been laid.
Before flying out of Panama, Francis called for a "just and peaceful solution" to the crisis and said he was praying for an outcome "respecting human rights".
People do not understand the trauma women go through after an abortion, the pope said. "There, a path of reconciliation can be found between mother and child".