Pope Francis makes an announcement to mark World Religions Day

Pope Francis has said in a series of remarks he is happy to see “faiths grow in the world”.

In an address to an audience in St Peter’s Square on Sunday, the pontiff spoke of “new beginnings” in his vision for the Church.

“Faith will not only thrive in the Church but will grow in it, and the Church will not be weak but will be strong,” he said.

Francis also spoke of his plans to open a “Catholic school” in Gaza in the city of Rafah.

The pontiff had said earlier in the day that he was interested in seeing more children in schools in Gaza.

Francis said he was grateful to be a Jesuit and to have had the privilege to live with the priesthood.

The pope said he hopes the next Holy Year will bring more “peace, love and brotherhood” in the Catholic Church.