Pope Francis is urging young people to reject a society based on consumption, materialism and consumerism, saying its values are at odds with faith.
“Adulthood is not a distance you travel in order to buy a good or get a position in a company, but it is also not the time to join institutions and careers that present an empty, materialistic and indifferent face to life and love,” he said during a question-and-answer session with some 500 youth from around the world.
Francis, who has issued repeated warnings about income inequality in his homilies and in major speeches, said young people have an obligation to oppose “the widespread culture of waste, lack of self-sufficiency and consumerism.”
The Pope, speaking in St. Peter’s Square, said it was not easy for young people to “draw a clear line between current realities and the ideal and purity of our being: the existential life, accompanied by vocation, sacred liturgy and hope, in which we wish to live together with others” and “the life of the world’s acquisitive, shallow society with its economic and political interests, as well as its romanticism and materialism.”
“That’s the difference between the thirst for love and suffering, the emotion of the church, the love of Christ and the love of God,” he said.
The Catholic Church counts 1.3 billion members in more than 180 countries.
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