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Hungering for bread, justice and dignity

· Pope denounces social and economic inequalities during his visit to the Varginha favela ·

To the youth gathered for the welcome ceremony, he asks that Christ be put at the centre of our life


Two touching scenes, continuous embraces, and concrete suggestions for restoring hope to a lost world. Yesterday, 25 July, was an intense day for Pope Francis, as the heart of the Church's youth beats fast in Rio de Janeiro.

The first touching scene took place in the Varginha favela when the Pope, in the “home” of Manoel José and Maria Luisa da Penha, held the couple's youngest child in his arms. The second scene,  was the visible emotion when the Pope was praying in the favela chapel.

The Pope continuously embraced  favela residents, and as he made his way through the community, he was even offered a beverage by a young man. Without fear and with intense prayer the Pope was constantly looking for direct contact with the crowd.

The Pope's recommendation was primarily directed to those with power, that they take responsibility to build a world that is based on social justice, in which no feels disposable. He then asked the youth not to be discouraged in the face of evil, but rather to respond with the good. “It's good for us to be here”, he said to the young people, recalling the happiness of Peter before the Transfiguration of the Lord.

To the young Argentinians who were gathered, he recalled that “faith is whole and entire, not something that you water down”. He recommended to never abandon faith in Jesus Christ and that the Beatitudes can be “the action plan”.  Above all he advised the youth to have the courage in making their voices heard. “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”.

He encouraged them to give recommendations to those men and women of the Church, the bishops, the priests, to all the consecrated, to avoid the danger of forgetting to be “earthen vessels” that guard the immense treasure that was given to us by God, and to avoid the temptations of careerism which “does so much harm to the Church”.

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