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Consumer culture will test WYD participants, Pope tells Sunday audience

Catholic World News - August 05, 2013

World Youth Day (WYD) was a “great gift for Brazil, for Latin America, and for the world,” Pope Francis told a midday audience at the Vatican on Sunday, August 4.

While he spoke with enthusiasm about his trip to Rio de Janeiro, and offered his thanks to the people of Brazil, the Pope cautioned that “World Youth Days are not ‘fireworks’, not just moments of enthusiasm that end in themselves; rather, they are stages of a long journey.” He asked the faithful to pray that young people who attended the celebrations in Rio will persevere in following Christ.

Referring to the day’s reading from the book of Ecclesiastes, with the sober reminder that “all things are vanities,” the Holy Father said that young people “are particularly sensitive to the emptiness of meaning and values that surrounds them.” He said that WYD participants would be tempted by a materialistic culture that “deludes young people with consumerism.” A mature faith should teach them, he said, that lasting happiness comes only through “the encounter with the living Jesus, in the great family that is the Church.”

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  • Posted by: Dennis Olden - Aug. 05, 2013 9:00 PM ET USA

    I don't understand what the Pope is after. He seems to want "the poor" to have what people in a consumer culture have, and at the same time he denigrates "consumer culture." Without "consumer culture," we would all be poor. I am 74 and have lived in thrifty Yankee style all my life; I do not participate particularly in the "consumer culture" nor do I defend it. I just want to understand what the Pope is saying.

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