Pope to youth: Don’t lose faith amid corruption
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – Pope Francis urged young Brazilians not to despair in the battle against corruption Thursday, July 25, as he addressed their country's political problems in the wake of massive protests.
"Dear young friends, you have a particular sensitivity towards injustice, but you are often disappointed by facts that speak of corruption on the part of people who put their own interests before the common good," he said.
"To you and to all, I repeat: never yield to discouragement, do not lose trust, do not allow your hope to be extinguished. Situations can change, people can change. Be the first to seek to bring good, do not grow accustomed to evil, but defeat it."
The pope told a crowd assembled on a football field in a Rio de Janeiro slum: "You are not alone, the Church is with you, the Pope is with you."
Brazil was rocked by the biggest protests in a generation last month, with more than a million people taking to the streets of the country to condemn corruption, lagging public services and the cost of hosting the 2014 World Cup.
The Argentine pontiff, who has championed the cause of the poor, made his remarks during a visit to one of Rio's favelas, or slums.
The pope, referring to the police operations launched by the authorities to bring violent shantytowns under control, said "pacification" was not enough to combat poverty.
"No amount of pacification will be able to last, nor will harmony and happiness be attained in a society that ignores, pushes to the margins or excludes a part of itself," he said.
"A society of that kind simply impoverishes itself, it loses something essential. Let us always remember this: only when we are able to share do we become truly rich; everything that is shared is multiplied," he added.
The pope arrived in Rio on Monday for a week-long visit coinciding with an international gathering of young Catholics, World Youth Day. – Rappler.com