Pope Francis greeting members of the public.
Pope Francis greeted members of the crowd at the stadium in Malmö. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

Pope holds public mass in Malmö

Pope Francis held a public mass on Tuesday in Malmö on the final day of his visit to Sweden.

Thousands of Catholics attended the event at the Swedbank Arena.

On Monday, the Argentine pontiff made the historic step of expressing deep regret over the conflict between Catholics and Protestants on the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

He appeared alongside heads of the Lutheran World Federation at an ecumenical service at Lund Cathedral, before attending a second ecumenical event at Malmö Arena in front of a large crowd.

At Tuesday's public mass he repeated his call for Sweden's Catholics to set aside their differences with the country's Lutheran majority.

Following the event, there was a farewell ceremony for him at Malmö airport before he departed for Rome.

There are thought to be around 150,000 Catholics in Sweden. Lutheranism is the main religion, but the country has a reputation for being strongly secular.

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