Pope calls for more inclusive culture

2013-07-22 16:48

Vatican City - Pope Francis said on Monday the world risks losing a generation of young people to unemployment and called for a more inclusive culture, as he headed to Brazil on his first trip outside Italy.

Speaking to journalists on board his plane, Francis expressed concern about how many young people have no jobs and condemned a "disposable" culture which also hurt the elderly.

"The world crisis is not treating young people well... We are running the risk of having a generation that does not work. From work comes a person's dignity," Francis said.

Although the Argentine pope's Latin America is a stronghold of the Church, Protestant faiths have made inroads and more materialist urban populations have eclipsed the rural populace where Catholicism first took root.

Francis, who succeeded Benedict XVI five months ago, will spend a week in Brazil for World Youth Day at a time when many young people in the world's largest Roman Catholic country have joined mass protests over economic inequalities.

"Young people at the moment are in crisis," the pontiff said. "We have all become accustomed to this disposable culture. We do the same thing with the elderly, but with all these people out of work even they are afflicted by a culture where everything is disposable."

"We have to stop this habit of throwing things away. We need a culture of inclusion."

Youth unemployment in developed economies is so severe it has prompted the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to call for more government intervention, possibly including paying companies to hire.

Youth unemployment rates in Greece and Spain are near 60%.

The biennial World Youth Day is expected to draw more than a million visitors to Rio de Janeiro and nearby sites.

Francis said young people must not be isolated. "When we isolate the young ... we strip them of the possibility of belonging and the young have to belong."

He added: "But even at the other extreme of life the elderly are also the future of a people."

Since being elected, the new pope has repeatedly emphasised that he wants a humbler church and has shunned the Vatican's traditional pomp.

He will stay in Brazil in a room similar to those used by other priests rather than the big suite organisers had prepared.

Francis has set up special commissions to reform both the scandal-hit Vatican bank and the troubled central Church bureaucracy.

On the plane he declared: "We need to make an effort to bring everyone into society, this is the sense I want to bring to this trip."

  • Thomas Paine - 2013-07-22 18:43

    How about allowing contraception to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and facilitating a reduction in the birth rate? That will help with unemployment in the longer term. Sadly the policy has already contributed to the current situation.

      Thanduxolo Galada - 2013-07-22 23:48

      You're talking non-sense. Causation fallacy Mr. What research informs your assertion that people are having more babies because they do not believe in contraception? Sign up for a course on critical thinking. Also have a look at abortion stats. Masses continue to abort regardless of social teaching.

  • Matlhaba Bushupeng - 2013-07-22 20:14

    well said Papal,one hopes that the world is listening ,and will act accordingly for the good of our children .never mind the barking dogs.

      Thanduxolo Galada - 2013-07-22 23:54

      @Atheist: Your hatred of believers in God clouds your judgment which is a pity cause atheists tend to reason and argue well. Have you taken the time to get facts about programs funded by the church to meet socio-economic developmental needs for the unemployed, refugees, elderly, young people? Please do be objective in your criticism. You give atheists a bad name :-(

      Phoenixx - 2013-07-23 08:11

      Thanduxolo maybe you should be taking your own advice?

  • Tommo Too - 2013-07-23 01:22

    More inclusive culture... oh really? From the leader of the world's most repressive institution

      Phoenixx - 2013-07-23 07:39

      Exactly! "We need to make an effort to bring everyone into society.." Unless you are gay, then sorry for you.

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