Vatican City, Oct 25, 2014 / 08:20 am
Pope Francis has sent a message to young people affected by the "culture of waste," calling on them to spread the hope of the Gospel amid these times of uncertainty.
The Pope's message, dated Oct. 16, was written to mark the Italian Bishops' conference of Salerno's national convention on the theme: "Hope amid uncertainty."
According to the message, the aim of the convention, which runs from Oct. 24-26, was to reflect on that which offers hopeful prospects, "in a time marked by uncertainty, bewilderment, and great changes."
Having encountered many young people over the course of his visits throughout Italy, the Pope Francis writes that he has seen "firsthand the plight of many unemployed youth."
The problem is more than merely economic, he said: "It is a problem of dignity." Without work, one cannot have the experience of dignity which comes from being able to put food on the table. "And unfortunately," he said, "there are many young people in Italy without work."
At this moment in time, the Pope writes, "the 'culture of waste' is strong: everything that does not bring in a profit is discarded. The youth are discarded, because they are without work." Because of this, "the future of a people is discarded, since the youth represent the future of a people. We must say 'no' to this 'culture of waste'."
Amid this uncertainty, the Pope said, "there is another word: hope." It is through the "strength of the Gospel" that one keeps from losing hope in "the 'quicksand' of uncertainty."
"The Gospel is the source of hope, because it comes from God, because it comes from Jesus Christ," who sympathizes with "all of our uncertainties."
"You young people belong to the Church," he said, "and therefore you have the gift and the responsibility" to use the "power of the Gospel" within the current social and cultural context.
Pope Francis concluded the message, saying: "The Gospel engenders attentiveness toward the other, a culture of encounter, of solidarity. Therefore, with the strength of the Gospel, you are witnesses of hope amid uncertainty."