- Associated Press - Sunday, July 31, 2016

BRZEGI, Poland (AP) - The Latest on the pope’s visit to Poland (all times local):

1:30 a.m.

Polish police say no major security incidents have been reported during Pope Francis’ five-day visit to the country, which has been protected by top-level security measures including sniffer dogs and anti-terrorism forces with machine guns.

As the pope’s visit was drawing to an end Sunday, police spokesman Mariusz Ciarka said unattended bags were biggest problem for security services as each such bag had to be checked.

On Saturday, police vans arrived in large numbers to guard a meadow where at least 1.6 million pilgrims were spending the night camping, ahead of a Sunday Mass with Francis

The slaying of an 85-year-old French priest by two extremists in Normandy on Tuesday had compounded security fears surrounding Francis’ trip, which were already high due to a string of violent attacks in France and Germany.

Officials said they deployed tens of thousands of security officials to cover the event.

Ciarka said that uniformed and plain-clothes security forces were deployed on boats on the Vistula River, in helicopters that flew around the crowds and on land.

Before departing Sunday, Francis was to meet the organizers of the event at a sports stadium in Krakow.


11:50 a.m.

Pope Francis has announced that the next World Youth Day will take place in Panama in 2019.

Francis made the announcement Sunday as he wrapped up this year’s global gathering of young Catholic faithful in Krakow, Poland.

He didn’t specify exactly where in Panama the event would be held.

Earlier Sunday, he encouraged hundreds of thousands of young people gathered in Krakow to “believe in a new humanity” which refuses to use borders as barriers and spurns hatred among peoples.


10:50 a.m.

Pope Francis has encouraged hundreds of thousands of young people gathered in a vast meadow to “believe in a new humanity” which refuses to use borders as barriers and spurns hatred among peoples.

Francis spoke Sunday as he wrapped up a pilgrimage to Poland that included meditation at the Auschwitz death camp and an unscheduled prayer stop for victims of terrorism.

For a second straight day, a huge crowd filled the meadow in the gentle countryside outside Krakow for Francis, whose five-day visit to southern Poland was the Argentine pontiff’s first-ever time in Eastern Europe.

In the final homily of the pilgrimage, Francis said God “demands of us real courage, the courage to be more powerful than evil, by loving everyone, even our enemies.”


09:30 a.m.

As Pope Francis headed to a large meadow in Poland to celebrate a Mass he made a quick ride by car to bless two buildings run by the Catholic charity Caritas.

One building was built as a day center for the elderly, while the other will be a storehouse for food for the needy and is called “The Bread of Mercy.”

On the way out on Sunday morning, Francis nibbled on some dark bread from a big, round loaf offered by women in traditional Polish costumes. He nodded in approval as he chewed away.


09:10 a.m.

A journalist for Italy’s state broadcaster, RAI, has died at the age of 58 during an assignment covering the visit by Pope Francis to Poland for World Youth Day, a global gathering for the Catholic church.

The Italian news agency ANSA said that Anna Maria Jacobini was discovered dead in the bed of her hotel room on Friday and is believed to have died the previous night. It said she had complained to colleagues Thursday night of feeling tired. Her death was not reported immediately because her 94-year-old mother had to be informed first.

Jacobini led a weekly Catholic affairs program on RAI and in the past had covered other papal trips, grueling affairs for reporters, who usually work from before dawn till late into the night.


08:35 a.m.

Young pilgrims have filled a massive meadow near Krakow in southern Poland for a Mass with Pope Francis, the last major event the pope will lead as he wraps up a five-day visit to Poland.

Some of the young people even camped out overnight in the field after an evening with the pope there that drew a massive crowd, estimated at 1.6 million by the World Youth Day organizers.

The Mass is taking place in the Campus Misericordiae in Brzegi, a village near Krakow.

The pope has had a busy schedule since he arrived in Poland on Wednesday on his first trip ever to Eastern Europe, visiting Auschwitz, leading Masses and holding many meetings with the eager young people who have traveled from around the world to be with him.

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