Pope's Address to Argentinian Youth
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, (Zenit.org) | 1993 hits
Here is the translation of the Holy Father's address to the youth from Argentina gathered in Rio for World Youth Day.
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Thank you, thank you for being here today. Thank you to those who are inside, and many thanks to those who are outside, to the 30,000 I’m told are outside. I greet you from here! You are under the rain. Thank you for the gesture of coming, for having come to the Youth Day.
I asked Doctor Gasbarri, who is the one in charge of things, who organizes the trip, if there was a small place to meet with you, and by midday he had everything arranged. So I want to thank Doctor Gasbarri publicly, for what he has succeeded in doing today.
I would like to say something. What do I expect as a consequence of the Youth Day? I expect a mess. There will be one. There will be a mess here in Rio? There will be! But I want a mess in the dioceses! I want people to go out! I want the Church to go out to the street! I want us to defend ourselves against everything that is worldliness, that is installation, that is comfortableness, that is clericalism, that is being shut-in in ourselves. The parishes, the schools, the institutions, exist to go out! If they don’t go out, they become NGOs, and the Church can’t be an NGO.
May the Bishops and priests forgive me, if one of them afterwards has a row with you, but it is my advice. Thank you for what you can do. Look, I think that at this moment, this global civilization has gone too far, has gone too far! Because the worship of the god-money is such, that we are witnessing a philosophy and praxis of exclusion of the two poles of life which are the promises of the nations. And of course, because one could think that there might be a sort of hidden euthanasia, namely, that the elderly are not looked after. But there is also a cultural euthanasia: they are not allowed to speak; they are not allowed to act! And <then there is> the exclusion of young people: the percentage that exists of young people without work, unemployed, is very high! And it is a generation that doesn’t have the experience of the dignity earned by work. <In other words>, this civilization has led us to exclude the two extremes that are our future!
So, young people must go out, they must show their worth. Young people must go out to fight for values, to fight for values! And oldsters must open their mouth; the elderly must open their mouth and teach us, transmitting to us the wisdom of the nations. In the Argentine Nation, I ask this from my heart of the elderly: do not shirk your duty to be the cultural reserve of our people, which transmits justice, which transmits history, which transmits values, which transmits the memory of the Nation. And you, please, don’t have it in for the elderly! Let them speak, listen to them, and go forward! But know, know that at this moment you, the young and the old, are condemned to the same destiny: exclusion! Don’t let yourselves be excluded! Is that clear? That’s why I think you have to work.
And faith in Jesus Christ isn’t a joke, it’s something very serious, it’s a scandal. That God came to make Himself one of us is a scandal! And that He died on the Cross is a scandal, the scandal of the Cross. The Cross continues to be a scandal, but the Cross is the only sure way, Jesus is the only sure way, Jesus’ Incarnation!
Please, don’t liquefy faith in Jesus Christ! There is orange milk shake, apple milk shake, banana milkshake, but please, don’t take liquefied faith! The faith is whole, it’s not to be liquefied. It is faith in Jesus. It is faith in the Son of God made man, who loved me and died for me.
So, have a row! Look after the extremes of the Nation which are the elderly and young people! Don’t let yourselves be excluded and don’t let the elderly be excluded; secondly, don’t liquefy faith in Jesus Christ.
The Beatitudes! What do we have to do, Father? Look, read the Beatitudes which will do you good, and if you want to know what practical thing you must do, read Matthew 25, which is the protocol with which we will be judged. With those two things you have the program of action: the Beatitudes and Matthew 25. You don’t need to read anything else. I ask this of you from the depth of my heart!
Well, I already thank you for this closeness, I’m sorry that you are caged, but I’ll tell you one thing. At times I feel how awful it is to be caged! I tell you this from my heart. O well, I understand you! I would have liked to be closer to you, but I understand that for reasons of order, it’s not possible.
Thank you for coming, thank you for praying for me, I ask this from my heart, I need it! I need your prayers, I need much prayer! Thank you for that!
Well, I will give you my blessing and afterwards we will bless the image of the Virgin and the Cross of Saint Francis, which will go on mission throughout the Republic.
But don’t forget. Have a row! Take care of the two extremes of life, the two extremes of the history of Nations, which are the elderly and the young! And don’t liquefy the faith!
And now we are going to pray to bless the image of the Virgin and then give you my blessing.
We stand for the blessing, but before I want to thank Monsignor Arancedo for what he said, that out of pure rudeness, I didn’t thank him for, so thank you for your words.
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In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee,
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
Now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Lord, you left your Mother in our midst so that she would accompany us.
May she take care of us, protect us on our way, in our heart, in our faith.
May she make us disciples, as she was, and missionaries, as she also was.
May she teach us to go out to the street, may she teach us to come out of ourselves.
We bless this Image, Lord, which is going to go around the country.
May she, with her gentleness, with her peace, point out the way to us.
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Lord, you are a scandal, the scandal of the Cross,
a Cross that is humility, meekness, a Cross that speaks to us of God’s closeness.
We also bless this image of the Cross which will go around the country.
Thank you very much and we will see one another in these days!
May God bless you and pray for me. Don’t forget!
[Translation by ZENIT]