On the contrary, "God created us to build, to give life, to go forward, to make community, to live in peace," he said, telling the students that while he doesn't want to "tranquilize" them to the problems of the world, "good things are happening" too.
"There are many people who give their lives for others, who spend time with others, who seek to do good for others. You don't see this," he said, and recalled meeting an 84-year-old nun during his visit to the Central African Republic in 2016 who had been serving as a missionary there since she was 24.
"No one knows this, you don't see it on TV. But there are people who give their lives for others, to help against this massacre of destruction," he said.
But at the same time that we recognize the good, we must also "denounce these terrible things, so that the world goes forward on the path of making visible the people who right now are hidden."
The second question was posed by a young man named Michele, who asked why authorities in countries at war seem eager to do something, but in reality do nothing, and what can be done to intervene.
Pope Francis responded to Michele's query saying the question is a "strong" one, and that the answer lay in the fact that God created man and woman to be the center of creation, but instead, "the god of money" has become the focal point.
Then, "you can't do anything because there are affairs," beginning with the trafficking of arms, he said, returning to a point he has often spoken out against.
"If we want peace, why do we make arms, but many more than are necessary to defend ourselves?" he asked, noting that there are countries who sell weapons to both opposing sides in a war to keep their profits up.
He also pointed to the drug trade, "which destroys the minds of youth," and the various ways in which people are exploited, primarily through work. There are children who work from age 7 with no education, and people who are are paid very little for a day's labor, he said.
Francis told the students that while it's easy to be dismissive or think these things only happen in other, faraway countries, this isn't true, because it happens "here, here in Europe, here in Italy!"
He pointed to the frequent cases in which people are paid "in black," meaning paid under the table with no official contract, or who are given brief contracts for 8-10 months at a time, but nothing permanent.
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"This is called destruction. This we Catholics call a mortal sin, exploitation," the Pope said, and encouraged the youth to rise to the challenge and "fight against this. Work hard. Help others. Don't be afraid."
In his response to the third question, posed by a youth named Luca who asked how the switch from violence to non-violence can be made, Francis pointed to the virtue of "meekness."
Violence is everywhere, and not just in wars, he said, noting that words can also harm people, and can even lead some to kill.
Using a phrase he has on several previous occasions, the Pope said the "terrorism of gossip" is the most dangerous in this regard, and told the youth that "if you are tempted to say something about someone, to gossip about another, bite your tongue."
This also goes for insults, which at times seem to be a first impulse toward someone, he said. "It's enough to go on the street in rush hour, when traffic is full and a motor bike come here, or a car comes from there, and immediately, instead of saying sorry," expletives come out.
The remedy for this, he said, is meekness, which "doesn't mean to be stupid, it means to act in peace, with tranquility, to say things in a way that doesn't hurt."