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WYD 2013: We risk creating a generation that has never worked, says Pope on the way to Rio

By on Monday, 22 July 2013

Pope Francis waves inside the plane bound for Rio this morning (AP)

Pope Francis waves inside the plane bound for Rio this morning (AP)

With economic hard times as an excuse not to hire young people, the world risks tossing them aside and endangers its own future, Pope Francis said.

Speaking to reporters aboard the papal flight to Rio de Janeiro today, the Pope declined to answer their questions, but instead made very brief remarks about his July 22-29 trip and then greeted each of the 71 media members.

A Mexican veteran of papal trips, speaking on behalf of the journalists, welcomed the Pope to the back of the plane on his first foreign trip, acknowledging the Pope’s reputation for keeping reporters at a distance.

Pope Francis said it was strange to hear her interpretation that reporters “aren’t the saints I’m most devoted to” and that by entering the media section of the plane he was entering “the lion’s den”.

“It’s true I don’t give interviews. I don’t know why. I just can’t. It’s tiresome,” he said. “But I enjoy your company.”

Turning to World Youth Day, the purpose of his trip, Pope Francis said he did not want the event to be a meeting with young people “in isolation”, because “when we isolate them we do them an injustice. They belong to a family, a country, a culture and faith.”

While it is true that young people are the future, he said, they are not the only keys to a healthy future for a society, nation or the world.

The young “are the future because they are strong”, the 76-year-old Pope said, but the aged are essential too “because they have the wisdom of life”.

“Sometimes we are unjust to the aged. We set them aside as if they have nothing to give,” he said. “But they have the wisdom of life, history of our homelands and families that we need.”

Pope Francis told reporters he knows that in many countries the economic crisis has been hardest on young people and young families.

“I read last week how many of the young are without work and I think we run the risk of creating a generation that has never worked,” he said.

The long-term lack of a job is detrimental, he said, because “work is dignity to the person [and] the ability to earn one’s bread.”

Once again decrying what he describes as “a throwaway culture”, Pope Francis said “we do it often with the aged and now, with this crisis, we are doing the same with the young.”

What the world needs and what Pope Francis had said he hoped to demonstrate in Brazil is “a culture of inclusion and encounter” to make sure everyone’s place and potential contribution to society is welcomed.

Telling the journalists that he noticed that they weren’t as “ferocious” as he had feared, the Pope asked them to “help me by collaborating for the good of society, the young and the aged”.

  • Simon James Perry

    Yes, thanks for your sensible comments. Much of my frustration with WYD is primarily to do with a lack of critical assessment and engagement. A soon as someone is critical the knives are out from some quarters. It can be the same with Medjugorje.

  • Simon James Perry

    I really don’t believe it has anything to do with nu-Church. I think Scandals of this kind have happened in all ages.

  • Simon James Perry

    Forgive me for asking, but what exactly do people do at WYD. DO they sing and dance, get up at 5 in the morning and say lauds and matins, go sunbathing, clubbing, share tents, Break bread on their knees. I have absolutely no idea. All I know is that when I was a youth, the last thing on earth I wanted to do was go to WYD. Somehow It didn’t appeal to a soul completely wrapped up in French Baroque harpsichord music. I guessed they probably wouldn’t know their D’anglebert from their Forqueray. Strange youth I must have been.

  • Julian Lord

    No, I really cannot agree — it could perhaps have benefited from one more editorial pass, but you’re exaggerating the relevance of any such textual difficulties FAR beyond any kind of reasonable level of critique.

    It is a poor approach to ANY text to focus on the negative, unless you’re doing so as part of your job (whether you’re correcting papers or editing it or etc), because such an interpretative attitude will mechanically lead to direct misinterpretation and therefore misunderstanding.

    Difficulties occur in the text where Benedict XVI and Francis’ writing styles are juxtaposed in too raw a fashion, except that as far as I can tell, in most cases Francis actually does succeed in getting their different prose styles to flow into each other successfully enough.

    But still — the purpose of neither this nor any other Encyclical is NOT to provide literary pleasure, but to provide instruction for the Faithful.

    So what if sometimes that instruction includes comments by Francis added onto teachings originally provided by Benedict XVI, and that sometimes they are added in a not entirely graceful manner ? Pope Francis’ style is not a graceful one, but this is irrelevant to the actual manner of his own teaching.

  • NatOns

    Yes, BC, I do understand – but personal failings (even egregious ones) do not invalidate the divine purpose in His allotted ministers or remove our moral duty to uphold the Faith.

    ‘But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.’ Matt 16 : 23.

    The error of Donatus and St Hippolytus is something I can’t condone although I empathise with proper vigilance and due correction – on popes, no less than others.

    God bless our Pope! And dear Lord only help him, God knows how much he needs it ..

  • buckingham88

    If you are lucky enough to be young enough, try and go to the next one and find out personally.
    We were blessed in Sydney with WYD, and it was a turning point for many, despite the concert of criticism beforehand.
    You need to raise funds for sponsorship at the parish level.
    In Australia we are reliably informed that the Pope will not be visiting here again. but think third world, Phillipines, Africa for the next few.

  • paulpriest

    No I’m sorry but you’ve made the point

    Instruction for the Faithful – this is more akin to a Victorian Magic lantern show than a ‘reading by Mr Dickens’

    …as I said this really is like the Pope Emeritus went through a systematic apologetic of Faith in His head and every time he wanted to express a specific point, or provide an allusion/analogy, an extraordinary relationship among ostensibly dissociate phenomena or principles, reasonings and revelations – he made notes…

    Like he was walking along a long road painting watercolours or scribbling instantaneous reflections or spiritual nosegays or poetic imaginings or scriptural/Church Father reminiscings….

    Lumen fidei is a publishing of this scrapbook – with Pope Francis making a short-stalled attempt at rewriting/integrating it.

    This is not about Faith

    It’s about the considerations about Faith – which would only make sense if the Faith teaching was rewritten in the inimitable Benedictine style with all these diversions and considerations and complementarities/supplementarities…
    Like Spe Salvi on hope

    This is like trying to act out a shakespeare play by just having the York notes…

    As I said – if one reads LF alongside Archbishop Sheehan’s Apologetics & Catholic Doctrine it is revelatory because these are the notes which explain so much – like snippets of the sermon on the mount while reading the Torah…but there is NO WAY in a million years any intellectual giant like Pope Benedict would have allowed this published in its present form – not only does it not make sense it’s stunted, stilted and strangled…

  • paulpriest


  • Benedict Carter

    Sure, but they come on a daily basis with the modern Church, don’t they?

  • Julian Lord

    Well I agree with you anyway that had Pope Benedict published it, it would have been formally quite different, though I’m less certain about substantially.

    Deus Caritas Est is not, for instance, so intellectually involved in its manner of writing as his Jesus of Nazareth trilogy…

  • Julian Lord

    oh ? there’s another one using the same tactics ?

    Thanks for the heads up.

  • paulpriest

    because it’s his de-guffing of Bl Pope John Paul II’s meandering and imprecise prose – it’s very much a blue-pen assault…remember His Holiness of Blessed memory would never use one word when twenty-seven would do….

  • paulpriest


  • Julian Lord

    A Pope after our own hearts, pp, Bless him …

  • aaglaas

    Benedict Carter: “Patriarch Kyrll said yesterday that ho mo-marriage is a harbinger of the approaching Apocalypse and Second Coming of our Lord. I agree with him.”

    Julian Lord’s reply to Benedict Carter “So do I.”

    Ahh… so nice to catch you and your true feelings towards gay people Jabba… I’ll have to save this one for future reference when you deny that you aren’t bigoted towards gays. :-)

  • Guest

    When one reads articles in the Dutch news regarding moral and ethical issues, perhaps the Pope should visit this troubled little land as there is much conversion needed.

  • Julian Lord

    you and your true feelings towards gay people


    “gay people” >< "gay marriage"

    Do you understand that there is a difference between the meanings of these two phrases ?

  • aaglaas

    It amounts to the same in your eyes because you don’t want gay people to be able to marry each other because of your animus and prejudice towards them. Otherwise, you wouldn’t equate them getting married as being a harbinger of the Apocalypse.

  • aaglaas

    And yet… were you not referring to ‘homosexuals’ and apparently their connection with the Apocalypse in that thread??? Nothing mendacious about me addressing that statement then…Maybe you forgot…The only rubbish here is your penchant for using ‘mendacious’ in seemingly every other statement and for your laughable denial of your innate bias towards gay people..

  • Scyptical Chymist

    OK – seems good, but you have not answered the question asked, Are you training to be a politician?

  • Scyptical Chymist

    I did a double take there. At first, I thought you were stating that Pope Emeritus Benedict was still the Pope. Alas the good news was dashed when I realised that you were referring to the contributor Benedict Carter!

  • Mark

    Sure, same with Church under the TLM. One of the most corrupt, apostate clergy came under TLM resulting to many who lost their Faith. Blame TLM?

  • Mark

    No wonder, people reading these horrid articles is just as horrid.

  • Mark

    Your friend Benedict doesn’t recognize the pope nor any authority but himself.

  • Julian Lord

    Flipping monomaniacs …

  • Kevin

    Today I read in Christian Order some encouraging news in the opposite direction from Kansas and North Dakota. I don’t have any link, though, but there maybe some information on the Web under “Population Research Institute”, which is headed by Steve Mosher.

  • Kevin

    One way to protect jobs is to make it clear to the world what Catholics stand for and what is expected of them in order to better show when employers are guilty of anti-religious prejudice. At the moment it seems as if we are being picked off one by one.

    If the teaching was clear it would mean that, when an individual Catholic is forced to pursue his former employers for unfair dismissal because he was unable to “compromise” on matters pertaining to fundamental human relations (childbirth, marriage, palliative care etc.), the judges could be left in absolutely no doubt as to what the Church requires of Catholics in general.

  • buckingham88

    Like you I am a skeptical chemist in part. As far as politics goes I would, but my wife won’t let me.

    But seriously though it is not possible to describe, by me anyway, a World Youth Day experience. it has to be lived.

    The internet is flush with information.

    Practically he needs support.

    I have a day and sometimes all night job anyway so don’t have the time to write comments or blogs.

    This thread is about youth unemployment.

    If I had the time I would be talking about Portugal, Spain and Italy, and the Eurozone recession, the consequences for youth.

    No one else is so I pass.

  • Echristensen66

    You have to remember that he can’t respond to everything of importance in every interview. I’m sure his concerns are in the proper order, but this interview, on the way to a bunch of praying youth, wasn’t about that particular concern.

  • buckingham88

    That’s really interesting.Steve keeps on turning up on Watts Up With That, a skeptical scientific website questioning the skeptics.

  • Erin Pascal

    Thank you so much for sharing this!. This is great news! Wonderful words by Pope Francis. It is good to know that both the youth and the aged are in his thoughts. May God bless him!

  • Simon James Perry

    I have no idea whether the frequency is any greater in our own age. I don’t suppose we’ll ever know how much of this sort of thing was going on in the past. I suppose there are many reasons for this: lack of available data, many of the people involved even from recent past are dead, The Church was respected more as an institution in the past, so many scandals not reported. Even if there are more scandals today it doesn’t mean its the fault of Church, we are quite clearly living in a decadent age. I’m not saying the Church is not to blame for some of these scandals, obviously that is not the case.