Vatican City, Jul 11, 2022 / 05:21 am
Pope Francis on Monday invited young people to learn the story of Bl. Franz Jägerstätter, a conscientious objector who was imprisoned and killed for refusing to fight for the Nazis in World War II.
“Despite cajoling and torture, Franz preferred to be killed than to kill. He considered the war totally unjustified. If all the young men called to arms had done as he did, Hitler would not have been able to carry out his diabolical plans. To triumph, evil needs accomplices,” the pope said in a communication published July 11.
Francis’ message was sent to the EU Youth Conference, taking place in Prague, Czech Republic, July 11-13. The theme of the 2022 conference, which is for teens and young adults from the European Union, is “Working Together for a Sustainable and Inclusive Europe.”
The pope invited young people, in light of the war in Ukraine, “to get to know the extraordinary figure of a young objector, a young European with ‘a broad outlook,’” Franz Jägerstätter, who was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007.