World Youth Day, he noted, is a unique opportunity for encountering and drawing closer to the young members of their flocks, who are "so full of hope and desires, but also many hurts and scars."
The pope also encouraged them to promote programs and educational centers for young people, in order to protect them from the influence of the "culture of death," which only appears to offer solutions to today's problems.
Young people, he said, have been "orphaned" by a culture and society which do not prioritize people and the common good, resulting in young people without families or homes, "without a community, without a sense of belonging."
Francis also addressed the issue of migration, referencing a recent pastoral letter of the bishops of Central America which called attention to the "massive and organized" migration affecting the region and the danger it poses to the dignity of the human person.
"Many migrants have young faces; they are seeking a better life for their families," he said, emphasizing that just to realize this fact is not enough, and the Church needs to proclaim clearly the "good news."
"The Church, by virtue of her universality, can provide the fraternal hospitality and acceptance that can enable the communities of origin and of destination to dialogue and to help overcome fears and suspicions, and thus to consolidate the very bonds that migrations – in the collective imagination – threaten to break," he said.
Quoting the First Epistle of John, he added: "If anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth."