VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis concluded a bleak week in Europe with a message of hope during an Easter Vigil service Saturday, saying darkness and fear must not prevail and “imprison” the world with pessimism.
Francis’ call to hope on the eve of the most joyful celebration in the Christian calendar contrasted sharply with his sharp condemnation in recent days of the attacks in Belgium and elsewhere by Islamic extremists.
“We see and will continue to see problems both inside and out. They will always be there,” he said. But he insisted: “Let us not allow darkness and fear to distract us and control our hearts.”