MODESTO, Calif. (AP) - The Latest on Vatican-sponsored conference in Modesto, Calif. (all times local):
Pope Francis said "no people is criminal and no religion is terrorist" in a welcome letter read at a Vatican sponsored conference on economic inequality in Northern California.
He urged Christians and people of good will to be neighbors without drawing barriers. The pope said that he was not speaking of anyone in particular in pointing out people who scapegoat, but of a social and political process that flourishes around the world.
Many of the social justice activists and clergy attending the four-day conference that opened Thursday work with refugees and people who are in the country illegally. Recent orders by President Donald Trump to limit who is allowed in the United States will likely be part of the discussion.
The conference is an offshoot of global meetings launched by Pope Francis nearly three years ago to explore the "economy of exclusion."
The Vatican is bringing its conversation on economic inequality to California's Central Valley. It comes at a time when the world is grappling with an America-first agenda and to a place where the economy is poor and relies on migrant labor.
President Donald Trump's name is not on the agenda, but his recent orders are likely to be part of the discussion among social justice activists and faith leaders. The Republican president has issued orders to crack down on people who are in the country illegally and to limit who is allowed into the United States.
The four-day conference is an offshoot of global meetings launched by Pope Francis nearly three years ago to explore the "economy of exclusion."
About 600 people are expected in Modesto.
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