Pontiff Notes Empty Promises Made to Youth

Says Consumer Culture Keeps Man From Understanding Himself

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SULMONA, Italy, JULY 4, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Among the shadows that “obscure the horizon” of young people there are not only economic difficulties but also the threat of the “consumer culture” that creates “false values,” Benedict XVI is warning.

The Pope met today with a group of young people in the Cathedral of Sulmona at the end of his apostolic visit to the city in Italy’s Abruzzi region. The area was devastated by an earthquake in 2009 and this is the Holy Father’s second trip to the zone.

In his address, based on the experiences that the young people shared with him, he noted “shadows that obscure your horizon: they are concrete problems, that make it hard to look to the future with serenity and optimism.”

“But there are also false values and illusory models that are proposed to you and that promise to fill up life but empty it instead,” he added.

The Holy Father explained that “the current consumerist culture” tends to “flatten man to the present, to make him lose the sense of the past, of history; but in this way it also deprives him of the capacity to understand himself, to perceive problems and to build tomorrow.”

“So, dear young people, I would like to tell you: the Christian is one who has a good memory, who loves history and seeks to know it,” the Pope said.

Benedict XVI traveled to Sulmona on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of the birth of Pope St. Celestine V (1209-1296).

Before returning to the Vatican he prayed before the casket containing the remains of Celestine V in the crypt of the cathedral.

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