Pope Francis wrapped up an intense one-day trip to Sarajevo by meeting with young people who represented the diversity of the region, and calling them to honesty, not hypocrisy.
The Holy Father put aside the text he had prepared for the last event of his day trip, engaging instead with the young people in an informal question-and-answer session.
Speaking about the influences of today’s culture, he recommended that they choose their media carefully, taking responsibility for what they see and read.
He referred to a comment about how he no longer watches television, saying that he chooses to spend his time in what helps him.
“I understand that times have changed and we live in the era of images,” he said. But in these times, “one should do the same as we did in the time of books: choose that which serves for good.”
Then speaking about the perspective he has of the Bosnian youth, he encouraged them to work together in building a society united in diversity. He noted that they are the first generation born after the war, praising the fact that they want to walk together to go beyond the divisions that brought about the conflict of their parents.
He called them to be honest, living their lives in conformity with what they profess, and to have consistency between what they say and what they do.
Some can say beautiful words about peace, the Pope reflected, and then secretly sell weapons. Instead, he urged the Bosnian youth to have consistency in what they think, feel and do.
“Union is to build bridges and allow them to be crossed, from one side to another. This is brotherhood,” he said.
After his meeting with the youth and a brief farewell ceremony, the Holy Father took his return flight to Rome.