Youth awaiting Pope Francis


Pope’s Words to Youth in Sarajevo

«From you I expect honesty, but honesty between what you think, what you feel, and what you do»

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The final event of the Pope’s trip last Saturday to Sarajevo was a meeting with youth. He put aside his prepared text and had an informal question-and-answer session with the young people.

Here is a provisional ZENIT transcription and translation of the event:

[Regarding a question about the Pope’s use of television]

In the mid 90s I saw that it didn’t do me good, it alienated me … When I wanted to watch a good film, I went to the television center of the Archbishopric and I watched only that film. Television took me outside; it alienated me. It didn’t do for me …

It’s true, I’m of the Stone Age, I am antique.

I understand that times have changed and we live in the time of the image and this is important. In the time of the image one must do the same as one did in the time of books. Choose, read the things that do one good.

First: the responsibility of the television centers to make programs that do one good, which do good to values, which send us forward, that do not bring us down. And then to make programs that help us; which make true values become stronger and prepare us for life. This is the responsibility of television centers.

Second: to know how to choose programs. It is our responsibility. If I see that a program doesn’t do me good, which pulls down values, makes me become vulgar, also in filthy things, I must change the channel. As was done in my Stone Age, that when a book was good one read it, when it was bad it was thrown out. Evil imagination that kills the soul: if you who are young live attached to the computer, and become a slave of the computer, you lose your freedom. In seeking filthy programs on the computer you lose your dignity. Watch TV, use a PC but for lovely things, for great things, for things that make us grow.

Have you ever felt the joy and love that young people of Bosnia and Herzegovina have for you?

To tell the truth, when I meet young people I feel the love and joy that they have, not only for me, but for ideals for life, they want to grow.

But you have a singularity: I believe you are the first generation after the War. You are the flowers of a Spring, which wishes to go forward and not turn to destruction, to things that make enemies of one another. I find this desire in you, this enthusiasm, and this is new for me.

I see that you don’t want destruction, you don’t want to make enemies of one another; you want to walk together. All of you, I’m sure, all of you who look within yourselves have the same experience of Darko. They are not they and I; we want to be an “us,” not to destroy the homeland, the country. You are Orthodox, Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, but we are a “we.”

Never build walls!

Everyone speaks of peace; some powerful ones of the earth speak lovely things about peace but surreptitiously sell arms.

From you I expect honesty, but honesty between what you think, what you feel, and what you do – the three things together. The opposite is called hypocrisy,

Years ago I saw a film on this city; I don’t remember the name, but the German version was “The Bridge.” And I saw there how a bridge always unites, however when the bridge is not used to go to the other, but is a prohibited bridge, it becomes the ruin of a city, the ruin of an existence.

I expect from you, this first post-War generation, honesty, not hypocrisy, to effect union, to be able to go from one part of bridges to another, and this is fraternity.

(Among the gifts: a bas-relief of John Paul II).

If Mir Vama (peace be with you) is true, you who are of the post-War Spring, make peace, work for peace, all together. May it be from this evening a country of peace.

(The Pope comes out from the Center and greets the young people who remained outside on the Square).

Good evening to you all. Mir Vama. And this is the task I leave you: to make peace, all together! These doves are a sign of peace — the peace that will bring you joy. And peace is made among all … among all …Muslims, Islamists, Jews, Orthodox, Catholics, other religions … we are all brothers, we all adore the one God – let there never be separations between us, but fraternity and union. Now I take my leave and I ask you, please, to pray for me. May the Lord bless you! Mir Vama!

[Transcription and translation by ZENIT]
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