Pope denounces 'marginalization' of disabled people
Pope Francis addresses a joint meeting of Congress in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 24, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Pope Francis, addressing an audience of 20,000 sick and handicapped people at the Vatican on Sunday, decried the marginalization of those with disabilities, pointing to the way body image has become big business and "anything imperfect has to be hidden away".

Speaking on the last day of the Vatican's weekend jubilee for the sick and disabled, he said: "The world does not become better because only apparently 'perfect' people live there, but when human solidarity, mutual acceptance and respect increase."

The pope told those gathered for the special mass in Saint Peter's Square that in "an age when care for one's body has become an obsession and a big business, anything imperfect has to be hidden away, since it threatens the happiness and serenity of the privileged few and endangers the dominant model."

The crowd of sick and handicapped faithful had come to Rome for the jubilee which ran from Friday to Sunday.