The future of a people
· Pope Francis concludes his visit to Naples with a new appeal to hope ·
The care of young people and the elderly is the measure of the future of a people. Pope Francis recalled this at the close of his visit to Naples, renewing his appeal to the city to “always move forward” and to “never lose hope”.
Before hundreds of young people of the archdiocese gathered at the Caracciolo waterfront on Saturday afternoon, 21 March, the Pontiff returned to renouncing the “throw-away” culture which penalizes the smallest and the oldest, and spoke about the crisis of the family, today “under attack” by secularization and by actual “ideological colonization”. He then discussed the need to rediscover the “testimony of love” in married life, giving space to prayer and constantly nourishing a willingness to understand and reconcile.
After his visit to the Scampia neighbourhood and Mass in Plebiscito Square, the Pope had lunch with detainees in the Poggioreale prison. His afternoon began with a festive encounter with priests and men and women religious in the city's Cathedral. Francis asked consecrated people to place Christ at the centre of their lives, to avoid, in particular, the temptations of profiteering, worldliness and gossip, which “destroys fraternity”. He recommended “mercy” to all and recalled that where joy is lacking there is no capacity to draw people “to the Lord and to the Gospel”.
Before arriving at the waterfront to greet the young people, the Pontiff paused in the Church of Gesù Nuovo [New Jesus], where hundreds of sick people were gathered. He invited them to “look to Jesus Crucified”, in whom the mystery of illness is explained. Francis also asked that medicine not be transformed into commerce, because, he explained, this is how a doctor “loses the core of his vocation”.
St. Peter’s Square
Jan. 21, 2018
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