· On his arrival in Madrid Benedict XVI invites the youth to be witnesses of hope and confidence ·
The current crisis confirms the necessity for an ethical foundation to place the economy at the service of man
We cannot recover from the crisis which continues to embroil the world if we are not ready to recognize that the economy is not measured according to the logic of profit but according to the common good, through responsibility for others, for one’s own nation, for the world and for the future. In this logic, the concept of duty also plays its part, especially in Europe, to protect the planet and guarantee work for everyone. With his thoughts turned to the great questions which confront human society today, Benedict XVI began his trip to Madrid, Thursday morning, August 18th, for the 26th World Youth Day. The Pope placed a triple mission in the hands of young people: to make visible the presence of God, to open borders and create space for friendship. For these reasons, World Youth Day needs to continue. Aboard the papal plane en route to Madrid, the Pope answered questions from some of the 56 media journalists and operators traveling with him; only part of the nearly 5,000 accredited media who will guarantee wide coverage of the event.
The first question on the connection between World Youth Day and its creator, John Paul II, Pope Ratzinger spoke of “an inspiration,” and “a great idea” on the part of the Polish Pontiff. World Youth Days are a, “cascade of light, a signal.” They make the faith and the presence of God in the world visible, increasing young people’s “courage” to believe. Thanks to these meetings, in fact, believers do not feel alone and are able to experience “the large network” of faith and friendship. A network, explained the Pope, which links the world and God, and represents, “and important reality for the future of humanity.”
As to the second question on the crisis and involvement of young people in recent protests, Benedict XVI reaffirmed the concept of the centrality of man and the necessity of an ethical foundation in economic processes. As for young people, the Pontiff was very clear: “if the youth of today have no prospects, our today has made a mistake.” The Church, for its part, in its social doctrine, “opens many up to the possibility of renouncing profit and seeing things in the religious and humanistic dimension, that is to live for one another.” Thanks to God, the Pope added, “a better world is possible.”
Dialogue and tolerance were the topics of the third question. Benedict XVI took the occasion to reiterate that, “truth is accessible only in freedom. You can impose upon others through violence…but not the truth! Truth is only open to freedom and free consent: freedom and truth are so intimately united, that the one is the condition for the other.”
Finally, returning to the topic of the first question, the Pope said that World Youth Day is not quantifiable in terms of numbers and statistics because, “God always sows seeds in silence.” It is a “message of hope,” the Pope said again in his first address upon arrival in Madrid, which fills “us with confidence before the future” and gives young people “a reason to hope” despite worries and difficulties.
St. Peter’s Square
Jan. 17, 2019
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