BY Ian Dunn | June 6 2014 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Children can be the catalyst for change

Pope Francis tells a youthful audience at the Vatican that with love, they can change the world for the better

Pope Francis has told some of Italy’s poorest children that with love they can change the world.

Last Saturday the Holy Father (right) met with 400 children from disadvantaged homes in Rome and Naples and they waved and cheered as he told them about the importance of bringing love to a dark world.

“Is it possible to make a better world?” he asked the children gathered in the atrium of the Pope Paul VI hall, as they shouted ‘Yes!’ in reply.

“Yes! And better than the world I live in?” Pope Francis continued, as his young audience again shouted, ‘yes!’

“Yes. And to make a better world, how do we do it? With hate? Do we make it with hate?” Some children stood up out of their chairs to shout, ‘no!’

“Good, say it, say it louder,” he encouraged them, explaining that the task is done ‘with love.’

“With love,” he continued. “Everyone together, as brothers, struggling alongside the other for love. And for this, I will tell you something: when the Apostle John, who was a very close friend of Jesus—a very close friend—wanted to say who God is, do you know what he said? ‘God is love.’ It’s beautiful.”

At the end, Pope Francis said that he was very happy to have spent time with the children, and said he would pray to the Lord to make them into boys and girls, men and women who would go forward with love.

“When God’s love goes ahead, everything goes well,” he said.

The event was arranged by the Pontifical Council for Culture, and Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said it was part of the ‘Court of the Gentiles’ programme that was established as an opportunity for ‘dialogue between believers and nonbelievers,’ at every social level.

He hopes that they will also be willing to confront ‘the mess, the knots, the obscure things of life.’

“It’s not for nothing that (today’s) symbol was the excavation of the light,” Cardinal Ravasi noted, since the small boy who brought up the jar filled with dirt from the catacombs comes from a home with parents involved in drugs, living in terribly impoverished circumstances. His presentation of that gift ‘profoundly signifies for the children what it is to conserve the interior light.’

– Read the full version of this story in the latest print edition of the SCO.


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