UPDATE 2-Pope prays at Turin Shroud but skirts authenticity debate

domingo 21 de junio de 2015 12:35 GYT

* Pope prays before mysterious Shroud of Turin

* Some say shroud is Jesus's burial cloth, some say a fake

* Speaks of city's past as centre of devil worship, new snares (Recasts, adds more comments)

By Philip Pullella

TURIN, Italy, June 21 (Reuters) - Pope Francis prayed on Sunday before the mysterious shroud some Christians believe is Jesus's burial cloth but skirted the issue of its authenticity, saying it should remind people of all suffering and persecution.

On his first day of a visit to the northern industrial city of Turin, he defended migrants flocking to Europe to escape war and injustice, saying it "makes one cry" to see them mistreated.

He also spoke of the city's 19th century reputation as a centre of devil worship and anti-clericalism, saying today's young people faced new snares of high unemployment, drugs and unbridled consumerism.

Francis was the latest of many popes to view the shroud, which is usually kept locked out of sight and is on display for only the third time in 17 years. Over a million people have seen it in two months.

After praying for several minutes before the cloth that has baffled scientists for decades, he touched its glass case and moved on to say Mass for 60,000 people. There he said the Shroud should spur people to reflect not only on Jesus but also on "the face of every suffering and unjustly persecuted person."   Continuación...