Pope tells Chile: ‘Adults have no right to complain’

Image copyright AFP Image caption Pope Francis addresses a crowd of young people in Santiago Pope Francis has called on young people to care for the environment and not allow their “lives and freedom”…

Pope tells Chile: 'Adults have no right to complain'

Image copyright AFP Image caption Pope Francis addresses a crowd of young people in Santiago

Pope Francis has called on young people to care for the environment and not allow their “lives and freedom” to be diminished.

Addressing a crowd of hundreds of thousands of young people in the Chilean capital Santiago, the Pope also encouraged citizens to “open their hearts to mercy”.

In his message for the World Youth Day gathering, which he will visit later, he said: “Adults might be tempted to say: ‘Do we have any right to worry?’. But I say to them: they have no right to complain.”

The event is being attended by more than 2 million young people.

Speaking in the Cathedral of Santiago’s flower-filled Tegui Chapel, the Pope used a strong image of how he sees the role of young people in society.

Pope Francis: “Adults might be tempted to say: ‘Do we have any right to worry?’. But I say to them: they have no right to complain”

Image copyright AFP Image caption Pope Francis visited Chile in March on a six-day tour before heading to Peru

“Just think about the destruction of the environment caused by the misuse of modern technologies, depletion of natural resources, deforestation, genetic preservation tampering. You and I,” he said.

“I would also add that every tragedy in the world, every discrimination and injustice, is a tragedy for you.

“The life and freedom of every human being depends on our concern for him, on protecting him and on assuming responsibility.

“We are responsible to God and to our brothers and sisters. So it is your responsibility, too, to care for the environment and your brothers and sisters.

“You have a duty to protect your lives and your liberty, in this life, and to look out for them beyond this life.”

‘Forgiveness and reconciliation’

Pope Francis also added that “You have a unique opportunity to follow Jesus and discover your true identity”.

In the homily, the Pope encouraged those young people, and “all the young people of this world”, to “confess your sins, walk through with eyes of forgiveness and reconciliation”.

“As you return to your own home, I would like to ask you: did we tell you the truth?” he asked.

“Did we show you mercy? Did we reach out to you with our hands? Did we love and forgive you? Did we give you the possibility to become brothers and sisters, or did we cut off you from this family of ours?

“Yes or no?”

The Pope will later visit a Catholic convent and a youth centre before presiding over the final mass of the festival, which is taking place in the Chilean capital’s Olympic Stadium.

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