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Saturday, 8 May 2021



Dear young people, in age and and spirit,

You receive warm greetings from this elderly man, who does not dance or sing like you, but who believes with you that injustice and evil are not invincible. The coronavirus has caused death and suffering, affecting the lives of all, especially the most vulnerable. Please do not forget the most vulnerable. Do not forget those at the limit. Moreover, the pandemic has contributed to worsening existing social and environmental crises, as you, young people, are always reminding us. And you are right to remember this.

In the face of so much darkness and uncertainty, we need light and hope. We need paths of healing and salvation. And I mean healing at the root, healing the cause of the evil and not just the symptoms. In these sick roots we find the virus of individualism, which does not make us freer or more equal or more brotherly or sisterly, but rather makes us indifferent to the suffering of others. And a variant of this virus is closed nationalism, which prevents, for example, an internationalism of vaccines. Another variant is when we put the laws of the market or intellectual property above the laws of love and the health of humanity. Another variant is when we create and promote a sick economy, which allows a few very rich people, a few very rich people, to own more than all the rest of humanity, and production and consumption patterns to destroy the planet, our "Common Home".

These things are interconnected. Every social injustice, every marginalisation of some into poverty or misery also affects the environment. Nature and people are linked. God the Creator instils in our hearts a new and generous spirit to abandon our individualism and promote the common good: a spirit of justice that mobilises us to ensure universal access to vaccines and the temporary suspension of intellectual property rights; a spirit of communion that allows us to generate a different, more inclusive, just and sustainable economic model.

Clearly we are experiencing a crisis. The pandemic has placed us all in crisis, but do not forget that we do not come out of a crisis the same as before: either we come out better or we come out worse. The problem lies in having the inventiveness to look for better ways.

May God, physician and saviour of all, comfort the suffering, and receive into His kingdom those who have already departed. And I also ask God, for us, pilgrims on earth, to grant us the gift of a new fraternity, a universal solidarity, that we may recognise the good and the beauty He has sown in each one of us, to strengthen the bonds of unity, of common projects, of shared hopes.

Thank you for your efforts, thank you for all that you are doing. And I ask you, please do not forget to pray for me. Thank you.

Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office8 May 2021

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