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Pope Francis calls on youth to find purpose in the world 

Vatican City : Pope Francis called on the faithful to help young people find purpose in the world, noting the paradox of “a culture that idolizes youth” and yet has made no place for the young.

“We have condemned our young people to have no place in society, because we have slowly pushed them to the margins of public life, forcing them to migrate or to beg for jobs that no longer exist or fail to promise them a future,” Francis said.

More than responsibility, the Pope said the world owed young people “a debt” because they have been deprived of “dignified and genuine work” that would allow them to take part in society, instead condemning them “to knock on doors that for the most part remain closed.”

Francis urged followers not to be like the innkeeper who refused a room to Mary and Joseph, but to help youth and provide opportunities.

Pope Francis strolled through St. Peter’s Square Saturday evening during the last frigid hours of 2016, exchanging New Year’s Eve greetings with the faithful.

Francis made his way through the crowd to pray in front of the life-size Nativity scene following the traditional vespers, also called evening prayer, inside St. Peter’s Basilica. Along the way, he stopped to kiss children on the cheek and shake hands with well-wishers, occasionally accepting small gifts that he handed off to his body guards. People in the crowd held up their smart phones and tablets to snap pictures of the pontiff.

Peace message

“May charity and nonviolence govern how we treat each other as individuals, within society and in international life,” the Pope wrote in his Jan. 1 World Day of Peace message.

The 50th annual papal peace message to the world extols nonviolence as an essential and nonnegotiable key to true and lasting peace.

In his peace message titled “Nonviolence: a Style of Politics for Peace,” the Holy Father says, “When victims of violence are able to resist the temptation to retaliate, they become the most credible promoters of nonviolent peacemaking.

“In the most local and ordinary situations and in the international order, may nonviolence become the hallmark of our decisions, our relationships and our actions, and indeed of political life in all its forms.”

Pope Francis boldly raises the moral bar and called on all nations to heed the clear nonviolent way of Jesus: “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.”

“Today, sadly, we find ourselves engaged in a horrifying world war fought piecemeal. Violence is not the cure for our broken world,” he emphasized.

Violence begets violence

Francis points out that meeting violence with violence produces tremendous suffering, not only in death and destruction, but by diverting necessary resources for human life to military ends.

Pope Francis said: “To be true followers of Jesus today also includes embracing his teaching about nonviolence” reminding the faithful that Jesus’ teaching of God’s unconditional love calls us to turn the other cheek, love our enemies and faithfully live the Sermon on the Mount.


(source: Manila Bulletin)

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