Young People Losing Hope, Says Pope

Notes They Are Deprived of True Love

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 9, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Young people, deprived of the true love that gives meaning to life, are at risk of losing hope, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope said this in his address before reciting the Angelus on the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. He reflected on today's youth, who are "growing up in an environment saturated by messages that propose false models of happiness."

In the words addressed to the thousands of pilgrims gathered in Saint Peter's Square the Pontiff said that "young men and women run the risk of losing hope because they often seem orphans of true love, the love that fills life with meaning and joy."

The Holy Father: "Not a few experiences tell us that young people, adolescence and even children are easy victims of the corruption of love, deceived by unscrupulous adults, who, lying to them and to themselves, draw them into the dead ends of consumerism.

"Even the most sacred realities, such as the human body, temple of the God of love and life, become objects of consumption; and this happens earlier and earlier, already in pre-adolescence.

"How sad it is when the young lose wonder, the enchantment of the best sentiments, the value of respect for the body, manifestation of the person and his inscrutable mystery!"

For this reason, Benedict XVI presented the beauty of Mary the Immaculate one, "shining with beauty, transparent to God's love. Mary Immaculate, 'Star of the Sea, shine upon us and guide us on our way!'"