APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO RIO DE JANEIRO
ON THE OCCASION OF THE XXVIII WORLD YOUTH DAY
MEETING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE FROM ARGENTINA
ADDRESS OF HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
Thursday, 25 July 2013
Thank you, thank you for being here, thank you for coming ... thanks to those
who are inside, and thanks especially to those who are left outside. They tell
me there are thirty thousand outside. I greet them from here. They are in the
rain ... thank you for this sign of your closeness, thank you for coming to
World Youth Day. I suggested to Dr Gasbarri, the person who has been organizing
my journey, to look out for a place for me to meet you, and in half a day he
sorted the whole thing out. I would like to thank Dr Gasbarri publicly for all
he has managed to do today.
Let me tell you what I hope will be the outcome of World Youth Day: I
hope there will be noise. Here there will be noise, I’m quite sure. Here in
Rio there will be plenty of noise, no doubt about that. But I want you to make
yourselves heard in your dioceses, I want the noise to go out, I want the Church
to go out onto the streets, I want us to resist everything worldly, everything
static, everything comfortable, everything to do with clericalism, everything
that might make us closed in on ourselves. The parishes, the schools, the
institutions are made for going out ... if they don’t, they become an NGO, and
the Church cannot be an NGO. May the bishops and priests forgive me if some of
you create a bit of confusion afterwards. That’s my advice. Thanks for
whatever you can do.
Look, at this moment, I think our world civilization has gone beyond
its limits, it has gone beyond its limits because it has made money into such a
god that we are now faced with a philosophy and a practice which exclude the two
ends of life that are most full of promise for peoples. They exclude the
elderly, obviously. You could easily think there is a kind of hidden
euthanasia, that is, we don’t take care of the elderly; but there is also a
cultural euthanasia, because we don’t allow them to speak, we don’t allow them
to act. And there is the exclusion of the young. The percentage of our young
people without work, without employment, is very high and we have a generation
with no experience of the dignity gained through work. This civilization, in
other words, has led us to exclude the two peaks that make up our future. As
for the young, they must emerge, they must assert themselves, the young must go
out to fight for values, to fight for these values; and the elderly must open
their mouths, the elderly must open their mouths and teach us! Pass on to us
the wisdom of the peoples!
Among the Argentine people, I ask the elderly, from my heart: do not
cease to be the cultural storehouse of our people, a storehouse that hands on
justice, hands on history, hands on values, hands on the memory of the people.
And the rest of you, please, do not oppose the elderly: let them speak, listen
to them and go forward. But know this, know that at this moment, you young
people and you elderly people are condemned to the same destiny: exclusion.
Don’t allow yourselves to be excluded. It’s obvious! That’s why I think you
must work. Faith in Jesus Christ is not a joke, it is something very serious.
It is a scandal that God came to be one of us. It is a scandal that he died on
a cross. It is a scandal: the scandal of the Cross. The Cross continues to
provoke scandal. But it is the one sure path, the path of the Cross, the path
of Jesus, the path of the Incarnation of Jesus. Please do not water down your
faith in Jesus Christ. We dilute fruit drinks – orange, apple, or banana juice,
but please do not drink a diluted form of faith. Faith is whole and entire, not
something that you water down. It is faith in Jesus. It is faith in the Son of
God made man, who loved me and who died for me. So then: make yourselves heard;
take care of the two ends of the population: the elderly and the young; do not
allow yourselves to be excluded and do not allow the elderly to be excluded.
Secondly: do not “water down” your faith in Jesus Christ. The Beatitudes: What
must we do, Father? Look, read the Beatitudes: that will do you good. If you
want to know what you actually have to do, read Matthew Chapter 25, which is the
standard by which we will be judged. With these two things you have the action
plan: the Beatitudes and Matthew 25. You do not need to read anything else. I
ask you this with all my heart. Very well, I thank you for coming so close. I
am sorry that you are all penned in, but let me tell you something. I
experience that myself now and then. What an awful thing it is to be penned
in. I openly admit it, but we’ll see. I understand you. I would have liked to
come closer to you, but I understand that for security reasons, it just isn’t
possible. Thank you for coming, thank you for praying for me; I ask you from my
heart, I need it. I need your prayers, I need them very much. Thank you for
that. Well then, I want to give you my blessing, and afterwards, we will bless
the image of the Virgin that is to travel all over the Republic. And also the
Cross of Saint Francis, which will travel on that same missionary journey. But
do not forget: make yourselves heard; take care of the two ends of life, the two
ends of the history of peoples: the elderly and the young; and do not water down
the faith. And now let us pray, so as to bless the image of the Virgin, and
then I will give you the Blessing.
Let us stand for the Blessing, but first I want to thank Archbishop
Arancedo for what he said, because I haven’t had the good manners to thank him
before. So thank you for your words!
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary ...
Lord you left your Mother in our midst that she might accompany us.
May she take care of us and protect us on our journey, in our hearts, in our
May she make us disciples like herself, missionaries like herself.
May she teach us to go out onto the streets.
May she teach us to step outside ourselves.
We bless this image, Lord, which will travel round the country.
May she, by her meekness, by her peace, show us the way.
Lord, you are a scandal. You are a scandal: the scandal of the Cross. A Cross
which is humility, meekness; a Cross that speaks to us of God’s closeness. We
bless this image of the Cross that will travel round the country.
Thank you very much. We will see each other again in the coming days. May God
bless you. Pray for me. Don’t forget!