Loading
Pope Francis: Europe is tired, must be rejuvenated
By Kerri Lenartowick
Pope Francis celebrates Palm Sunday Mass on March 24, 2013 in St. Peter's Square. Credit: Sabrina Fusco/CNA.
Pope Francis celebrates Palm Sunday Mass on March 24, 2013 in St. Peter's Square. Credit: Sabrina Fusco/CNA.

.- In a visit to a community dedicated to serving the poor and needy, Pope Francis warned of the poverty of Europe which faces a declining birthrate, hidden forms of euthanasia, and high rates of unemployment.

“Today I speak of Europe. Europe is tired. We have to help rejuvenate it, to find its roots. It’s true: it has disowned its roots. It’s true. But we need to help it find them,” he said to the St. Egidio community in Rome’s Santa Maria in Trastevere Basilica on June 15.

“The treatment of the elderly, as that of children, is an indicator showing the quality of a society. When the elderly are discarded, when the elderly are isolated and sometimes closed off without affection, it’s a bad sign!” he exclaimed.

The St. Egidio community provides various forms of social outreach to the impoverished, homeless, refugees and immigrants, elderly, disabled, and young people. Their service also consists of inviting people to participate in a deeper life of prayer.

Several members of the St. Egidio community shared their testimony with the Holy Father, explaining how they had been in a difficult situation due to poverty or immigration or disability, when the community reached out to them to offer help and spiritual support.

Pope Francis affirmed their work, noting “How good it is, rather, that alliance I see between young people and the elderly in which everyone receives and gives.”

“The elderly and their prayers are a richness for St. Egidio. A people that does not safeguard its elderly, that does not take care of its young people, is a people without a future, a people without hope. Because the youth - the children, the young people - and the elderly carry history forward.”

He noted that although young people provide “biological strength” for society, the elderly “give them their memory.”

“When a society loses memory, it’s over. It’s finished. It’s terrible to see a society, a people, a culture that has lost memory,” he lamented.

An economic world which holds “the idol of money” at its center rather than “man and woman,” risks becoming a “throw-away culture,” Pope Francis warned.

“Children are thrown away: no children. Just think of the growth rate of children in Europe: in Italy, Spain, France. The elderly are thrown away with these attitudes, behind which is a hidden euthanasia, a form of euthanasia: uselessness. That which isn’t useful is thrown away.”

“And today the crisis is so great that young people are discarded: when we think of these 75 million young people of 25 years or younger, who are ‘neither-nor’ - neither working, nor studying. Without. It happens today, in this tired Europe, eh?”

The Pope went on to criticize a “speculative economy” which makes the poor “more and more poor, depriving them of the essentials, such as home and work.”

He noted the importance of solidarity - a word which “many want to remove it from the dictionary, eh? Because to a certain culture seems to be a dirty word.”

“Oh no: it is a Christian word, solidarity!” he exclaimed.

Pope Francis then thanked the St. Egidio community for being a place of welcome and solidarity not just to local people, but also to immigrants who have arrived after “painful and risk filled travel.”

The Holy Father extended his thanks to all involved in the work of the community beyond Rome “in other countries of the world. I also encourage them to be friends of God, of the poor, and of peace: whoever lives like this will find blessing in life and will be a blessing for others.”

He stressed the importance of such outreach, particularly in “hectic and sometimes confusing city life.”

“It all starts with prayer. Prayer preserves the anonymous man of the city from the temptations which can also affect us: the attention-seeking in which everything revolves around oneself, indifference, victimhood.”

“Prayer is the first work of your community, and consists in listening to the Word of God - this bread, the bread that gives us the strength that is there, that keeps us going forward - but also in turning our eyes to him, as in this basilica,” the Pope explained.

The evening then concluded with a brief prayer service, including the reading of a Gospel passage and prayers of intercession.

Tags: Pope Francis, Solidarity


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

A Look at India from Rome
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
Aug
1

Liturgical Calendar

August 1, 2014

Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:54-58

Gospel
Date
08/01/14
07/31/14
07/30/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 26: 1-9
Gospel:: Mt 13: 54-58

Saint of the Day

St. Alphonsus Liguori »

Saint
Date

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:47-53

Homily
Date
07/31/14
07/30/14
07/29/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: