Pope Francis: ‘A new world is possible’
Pope Francis has made a rare public appearance for a new generation of Catholic youth in the Vatican, welcoming them into the Catholic Church.
He addressed the youth and made a bold appeal to change their world.
“A new life is possible in our lives,” he said, in a message that many people in the audience applauded.
The pope’s remarks, which came amid a series of scandals that have rocked the Vatican and have forced it to confront the issues at the center of the scandals, have also sparked criticism from critics of the church and critics of Pope Francis.
He told the youths that the church was “not an organization of priests” but a “community of men and women.”
“The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not only the Word of God, it is also the truth, the reality,” he added.
The pontiff was addressing the group of young people, who were gathered in a hallway outside the Vatican for the first time in more than a decade, when he spoke of their importance to the Church and to the world.
In his opening address, Francis emphasized the need for the youth to grow up in the church, and for the church to adapt itself to a changing world.
The Catholic church, he said in his opening remarks, “is not an organization, but a community of men, women and children.”
The pope then spoke about how he wanted to transform the church.
“The time for change is now,” he told the audience.
“In our new world, there is a new world that has been opened up for us.”
He added, “I ask you, for every generation, to learn to love each other.”
The Pope’s remarks were greeted by cheers from the crowd, many of whom said they were grateful for the new generation, and welcomed the pontiff’s commitment to the young.
The group of youths, who are largely from Latin America and Africa, was given a chance to ask questions during the program, which was broadcast live on local television.
Many of them asked about what was happening in the Catholic church.
They expressed concern over what is happening with the abuse crisis, saying that many bishops are protecting pedophiles.
They also expressed concern about the growing numbers of people joining the LGBT community and the number of priests who are gay.
But most of the youths seemed hopeful about the future.
“I hope this generation will continue to have the courage to follow Jesus Christ,” said Carlos, a 22-year-old from Colombia who asked to be identified only as Carlos.
The youth, who had been studying for a course on Catholicism and the church in their first year in the school, were invited to the program for the second time in a year, as part of the pope’s effort to engage them in the public square.
“We don’t want to leave behind the Catholic values and to leave our families,” said Juan, who asked that his last name not be used for fear of being labeled a pedophile.
“If we stay quiet, we will lose,” he went on to say.
“But we also need to speak out.”