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Pope the din of ’ever more rich’ drown out cries of poor

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is praying with thousands of poor people in the splendor of St. Peter’s Basilica and decrying that the “few rich” grow even wealthier.

The Catholic Church dedicated Sunday to the world’s poor, and Francis invited needy persons and volunteers who help them to Mass as well as to lunch at the Vatican.

In his homily, Francis called injustice the “perverse root of poverty.” He lamented that while the cry of the poor becomes stronger, it is drowned out by “the din of the rich few, who grow ever fewer and more rich.”

He said Christians cannot be indifferent, and cited the “stifled cry” of the unborn, of starving children, abandoned elderly, youths in war zones, those forced to flee homelands and “entire peoples, deprived” of immense natural resources.