(ANSA) - Vatican City, March 5 - Pope Francis called on the
faithful to abandon their "lazy addiction to evil" in an Ash
Wednesday General Audience where more than 30,000 people filled
St. Peter's Square.
Explaining the purpose of Lent, the 40-day period that
began Wednesday, the pontiff commented on how it is "time to
change course", and get away from addiction that "anesthetizes
the heart" in times of tragedy, violence, poverty and
"Don't take violence for granted, nor our homeless brothers
and sisters, nor refugees in search of dignity," said the pope,
adding that "love for God can make change for the better".
The pope offered up Lent as an opportunity to confront
negativity and indifference via a collective renewal in God and
"Faith and open hearts to our brothers are essential during
the Lenten period," he said.