Pope Francis has been very outspoken when he attended the International Catholic Youth Festival in Poland last Saturday.
His message revolved around the negative effects of technology to the youth and how it is making them “drowsy and dull kids.” He said that children should step off of their sofas and leave the video games to walk around.
Pope Francis added that these gaming set-ups gives children the illusion of “safety from pain, fear or worries,” according to The Guardian. The pontiff warned that these habits just hide the internal conflicts these kids have and wallowing in video games for hours could not give them resolution.
“For many people it is easier and better to have drowsy and dull kids who confuse happiness with a sofa,” he told an estimated one million people gathered at a vigil in a vast plain near Kraków. “The times we live in do not call for young couch potatoes but for young people with shoes, or better, boots laced.”
“Dear young people, we didn’t come into the world to vegetate… We came for another reason: to leave a mark.”
The 79-year-old pope also noted that since kids have these video games in front of them, consuming all of their attention, they fail to see what is happening all over the world. The kids nowadays are now numb to outside events that a bombing in France becomes just another story on the evening news.
Continuing Pope Francis’ Crusade to Change the Youth
During his speech in Poland, the pope did not hold back. He told them about his massive concerns about the current generation and how the general public seemed to be “taking dark paths and… having to pay for it.”
Pope Francis said that the youth nowadays are particularly “looking for thrills” instead of self-fulfillment.
“It pains me to meet young people who seem to have opted for ‘early retirement’. I worry when I see young people who have ‘thrown in the towel’ before the game has even begun, who are defeated even before they begin to play, who walk around glumly as if life has no meaning. Deep down, young people like this are bored – and boring!” Francis told a massive crowd in Błonia park in the Polish city.
“So I ask you: Are you looking for empty thrills in life, or do you want to feel a power that can give you a lasting sense of life and fulfilment? Empty thrills or the power of grace?”
Pope Francis also spoke about the current immigration problem in the world. He said that it does not matter what a person’s nation is. If he or she has a merciful heart, they will be “ready to embrace everyone.”
“A merciful heart can share its bread with the hungry and welcome refugees and migrants.”
Jessica Rees, one of the attendees of the event, said that she agrees with Pope Francis. Rees said that there has been a decline of young people attending their church, so it inspires her to see so many youth joining Pope Francis.
Thirty-three-year-old Anel Zuniga told The Guardian that she already heard Pope Francis speak three years ago. Zuniga said that whenever she would hear the pope speak, “it’s as though he was talking directly to you.”
“Even people who don’t believe [in God] listen to what he says. His message gets across.”
Pope Francis brings a fresh perspective on the Catholic Church and he hopes he could inspire the youth to take action.
[Photo via Aleutie/iStock]