Maputo — The head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, on Thursday declared in Maputo that young people need to know that they are very important for the society of which they are a part.
On the second day of his visit to Mozambique, he was speaking to young people of various different faiths in what was described as "an inter-religious meeting".
"You are important. You need to know this, and you need to believe this", he told his audience. "You are not only the future of Mozambique, or of the Church and of humanity, you are also the present. Without your enthusiasm, your songs and your joy, what would this earth be?".
Pope Francis praised the presence of different religions in the stadium where the meeting was held. That presence showed "family union" through the challenges of peace, hope and reconciliation. With this experience, it could be understood that "we are all necessary, with our differences, but necessary".
Youths, he said, "have so much strength, are capable of looking forward with so much hope. You are a promise of life, which brings to you a certain degree of tenacity, which you should not lose and should not allow anyone to steal from you".
Francis warned his young audience to beware of two attitudes which kill dreams and hope - resignation and anxiety.
"These are great enemies of life", he said, "because normally they push us onto an easy path, but one of defeat. Certainly you know friends or acquaintances, and it may even have happened to you, who in difficult, painful moments, when everything seems to fall on top of you, fall prostrate into resignation".
"You should be very careful", he continued, "because this attitude leads you onto the wrong path. When everything appears paralysed and stagnant, when personal problems worry us, and social difficulties do not find the due answers, it is not good to think that we have been beaten".
After the inter-religious gathering, the Pope was scheduled to hold a meeting with Catholic priests from all Mozambican dioceses in Maputo's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.