Pope targets 'throwaway culture' during Brazil visit

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Pope Francis said as he flew to Rio de Janeiro that he is going to meet young people and help counter a “throwaway culture” that threatens to isolate them from society.

When “we isolate young people, we do them an injustice: young people belong to a family, a country, a culture, a faith … we must not isolate them, they really are the future of a people,” the Pope said July 22 in brief remarks to journalists aboard the papal plane.

He will arrive in Rio today at 4:00 p.m. local time for the eight-day visit with youth from around the world.  The event is expected to draw 1.5 million young people to Brazil’s second largest city.

Pope Francis was also keen to underscore that the future of any successful society depends both on the youth and on the elderly.

The youth “are the future because they have the strength, they are young, they will go forward. But even the elderly, are the future of a people. A people has a future if it goes ahead with both: with the young and with the elderly,” he told reporters. The elderly, he emphasized, also are subjected to injustice when they are disregarded.  

They “never stopped giving, they have the wisdom, the wisdom of life, the wisdom of history, wisdom of the country, the wisdom of the family, and this we need,” he noted.

The Pope then described both the unemployment that has plagued young people during the economic crisis and the discarding of the elderly as part of a “throwaway culture.”

He remarked, “we do it often with the aged and now, with this crisis, we are doing the same with the young."

As he looked forward to his meeting with the hundreds of thousands of youth, Pope Francis said he plans to promote a “culture of inclusion, a culture of meeting, to make an effort to carry all in society.” 

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