Pope Stresses Frugality, Discipleship in World Youth Address

28 Jul

ImagePope Francis was met by a crowd of 1.5 million young Catholics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.  Millions more followed via a live internet feed and television coverage throughout the world.    The XXVIII World Youth Day began on July 22 and runs through July 29.  The themes addressed by this pope were the same, a return to traditional cultural values including frugality and engaging the duty to be disciples of Christ.  

As you know, the principal reason for my visit to Brazil goes beyond its borders. I have actually come for World Youth Day. I am here to meet young people coming from all over the world, drawn to the open arms of Christ the Redeemer. They want to find a refuge in his embrace, close to his heart, to listen again to his clear and powerful appeal: “Go and make disciples of all nations”.

Speaking on Thursday the Pontiff warned that our society has “made money into a god:”

Look, at this moment, I think our world civilization has gone beyond its limits, it has gone beyond its limits because it has made money into such a god that we are now faced with a philosophy and a practice which exclude the two ends of life that are most full of promise for peoples.  They exclude the elderly, obviously.  You could easily think there is a kind of hidden euthanasia, that is, we don’t take care of the elderly; but there is also a cultural euthanasia, because we don’t allow them to speak, we don’t allow them to act.  And there is the exclusion of the young.  The percentage of our young people without work, without employment, is very high and we have  a generation with no experience of the dignity gained through work.  This civilization, in other words, has led us to exclude the two peaks that make up our future.  As for the young, they must emerge, they must assert themselves, the young must go out to fight for values, to fight for these values; and the elderly must open their mouths, the elderly must open their mouths and teach us!  Pass on to us the wisdom of the peoples!

Among the Argentine people, I ask the elderly, from my heart: do not cease to be the cultural storehouse of our people, a storehouse that hands on justice, hands on history, hands on values, hands on the memory of the people.  And the rest of you, please, do not oppose the elderly: let them speak, listen to them and go forward.  But know this, know that at this moment, you young people and you elderly people are condemned to the same destiny: exclusion.  Don’t allow yourselves to be excluded.  It’s obvious!  That’s why I think you must work.  Faith in Jesus Christ is not a joke, it is something very serious.


The Pope also spoke out against a trend toward legalization of drugs:

To embrace, to embrace – we all have to learn to embrace the one in need, as Saint Francis did. There are so many situations in Brazil, and throughout the world, that require attention, care and love, like the fight against chemical dependency. Often, instead, it is selfishness that prevails in our society. How many “dealers of death” there are that follow the logic of power and money at any cost! The scourge of drug-trafficking, that favours violence and sows the seeds of suffering and death, requires of society as a whole an act of courage. A reduction in the spread and influence of drug addiction will not be achieved by a liberalization of drug use, as is currently being proposed in various parts of Latin America. Rather, it is necessary to confront the problems underlying the use of these drugs, by promoting greater justice, educating young people in the values that build up life in society, accompanying those in difficulty and giving them hope for the future. We all need to look upon one another with the loving eyes of Christ, and to learn to embrace those in need, in order to show our closeness, affection and love.






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