Skip to comments.Pope Francis: The ‘most serious’ evils are ‘youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old’
Posted on 10/02/2013 1:42:03 AM PDT by Pinkbell
ROME, October 1, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - From inside the Vatican to the back halls of diocesan offices many officials are wishing Pope Francis would stop granting off-the-cuff interviews that have led to an ever-increasing need to correct misinterpretations.
While perplexed reactions are continuing to flow in following last weeks publication of the now-famous Jesuit magazine interview, another controversial interview with Pope Francis was released Tuesday.
The interview, published in Italys La Repubblica daily newspaper, was conducted at the Popes residence by prominent atheist Eugenio Scalfari, whom the Pope had addressed in an op-ed published by the paper earlier this month.
Perhaps the most startling assertion the Pope makes in the interview is that youth unemployment and loneliness among the elderly are the "the most urgent" problems facing the Church, and the most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days.
Scalfari begins his coverage of the interview this way:
Pope Francis told me: The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old. The old need care and companionship; the young need work and hope but have neither one nor the other, and the problem is they don't even look for them any more. They have been crushed by the present. You tell me: can you live crashed under the weight of the present? Without a memory of the past and without the desire to look ahead to the future by building something, a future, a family? Can you go on like this? This, to me, is the most urgent problem that the Church is facing.
When Scalfari suggests those issues are largely political and economic problems for states, the Pope notes that these problems affect both bodies and souls. It is not the only problem that we face, but it is the most urgent and the most dramatic, the Pope said.
The Vatican has not yet issued any clarification to the interview and sources in Rome told LifeSiteNews.com that, as was the case with the Jesuit magazine interview, it is likely that the quotes from the Pope were approved before publication. Vatican Radio has released its own coverage of the interview, pulling out various quotes from the Pope.
Other quotations from the Pope in the interview that are likely to cause confusion include:
- Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense.
- And I believe in God, not in a Catholic God, there is no Catholic God, there is God and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation.
- From my point of view, God is the light that illuminates the darkness, even if it does not dissolve it, and a spark of divine light is within each of us. In the letter I wrote to you, you will remember I said that our species will end but the light of God will not end and at that point it will invade all souls and it will all be in everyone.
- Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is Good Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.
- Vatican II, inspired by Pope Paul VI and John, decided to look to the future with a modern spirit and to be open to modern culture. The Council Fathers knew that being open to modern culture meant religious ecumenism and dialogue with non-believers. But afterwards very little was done in that direction. I have the humility and ambition to want to do something.
- But I am the Bishop of Rome and Pope of the Catholic world. The first thing I decided was to appoint a group of eight cardinals to be my advisers. Not courtiers but wise people who share my own feelings. This is the beginning of a Church with an organization that is not just top-down but also horizontal.
While some bloggers have noted problems with the English translation of the La Repubblica piece, LifeSiteNews has verified the above quotations are accurate translations of the original Italian.
Just curious what my fellow Catholics in particular have to say about this interview.
Other things that would see more evil: murder, rape, human trafficking, theft, abuse, government dictatorships, etc.
the idle youth and the loneliness of the old are both a result of and a contributor to the evil’s you have named IMO.
Remember, you can do all these things, and STILL NOT BELIEVE IN GOD TO GO TO HEAVEN!!
For us Catholics of traditional sensibilities, this Pope is going to be a wild ride.
Pope Francis is a flake.
I would rather read things in context of a complete interview and not some isolated quotes before I start hyperventilating. The most serious of problems facing our world is a lack of faith - all the worlds evils stem from this!
From the pope:
We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is Good Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them.
This heretic is giving obama a run for his money as the most dangerous man on the planet.
I agree with you. After the sheer barbarism of Nairobi mall attacks he thinks loneliness and unemployment are the most serious evils? Just Wow. He has been headlined as saying a lot of things and defended as taken out of context... I think it’s time to admit he is the Pope the world has wanted. One who will be ok with homosexuality and abortion.. and Muslim slaughterers? I hope I am wrong.
This is coming from an ATEIST, so I’m NOT buying the interpretation....yet.
He’s off his rocker on this.
The odd thing is that he *does* talk about the evils of abortion. He seems to be just plain sloppy—like a guy who is prone to extreme statements that contradict themselves. He could come out tomorrow with another interview and say abortion is the greatest evil.
This man is an original thinker, not necessarily ruled by fear or the dictates of diplomacy. He does not appear to equate surprising someone (with his many unexpected statements)with disappointing someone.
The weird thing is that he isn’t ok with sodomy or abortion. But he’s so undisciplined in his statements that he makes people think that.
I’m Italian, but man, we need to bring back a German Pope. :)
What the Pope doesn’t say is just as powerful as what he does say. He did not say.. I reject the sin of homosexuality, but not the people who are lost in it. I am not a Catholic, but the previous Popes have been moral stalwarts.. This one is more communist than any German could have dreamed of. My goodness MSNBC is already gushing over him as the best pope ever. Like I said.. I hope I am wrong.
That's how I read it. That strike at the foundation-less is to strike against the world's problems.
To upshore foundations with the impressionable youth and to show concern and care for the elderly is a path to ending great evils.
Hoping I am making some sense - this is not my most elegant post - I need to reflect upon this, but I think I see Pope Francis' point.
I think, but maybe not!
This was a conversation with an Italian atheist, and I think he was talking about two problems of Italian society (which, in fact, are the results of grave sins). The isolation of the elderly, for example, is at least in part because there aren’t enough young people in their families - as a result of abortion. But it’s also the result of the fact that Italian society (and ours) considers them to be nothing but old-fashioned burdens. Certainly, something should be done about this, especially since it is often an area where the Church should be involved.
Youth unemployment is something beyond the Church, but I think he’s very concerned with the aimlessness and lack of connection of modern youth, at least in part, again, because of an attitude that doesn’t value work but instead goes for fast money (look at the words of rap songs, where the singer praises drug dealers and robbers, because they’re ruthless and just take what they want).
He wasn’t talking to Catholics about moral issues.
If this does not smell of moral relativism, I don’t know what does. One does not decide what evil is. Muslims think that they are righteous. Does their behavior not epitomize evil? I disagree entirely, your holiness.
I am very concerned by his ambiguous, if not, downright, undisciplined statements. Pope Benedict was very concise and direct in his words.
I am trying hard to warm to Francis, but it’s not there.
The pro-life movement is dissed by the Pope, once again.
He is not “one of us.”
I don’t doubt for an instant that he is deeply opposed to abortion. But no one who I would call a “pro-lifer” would ever say that any evil in the world today is more serious than the abortion holocaust. Fifty million babies a year!
If I understand what “flake” means, it’s someone who is likely to say almost anything. Or, at least, can’t be counted on to state his case clearly, without faux pas.
I would think that satan and islam would be.
We have GOD and his SON to guide us and THEIR words are free for all that seek them.
Well, hey-—If the Pope said it, it must be true!
Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop.
If young people still had to get up before dawn and put in an 80 hour week on the farm, we’d have a whole lot less crime, delinquency and social decay.
I'm starting to form a theory about Francis. He clearly says things frequently that make people do double takes. Welcome in the gays and atheists, stop talking about abortion, the biggest issues are lonely old people and youth unemployment, etc. You scratch your head.
But I don't think he's a flake, I think he's a very empathetic man who focuses feels the personal pain of individuals and can't really visualize the big moral issues. He would take his cassock off to clothe a homeless man but when you ask him about somewhat more abstract things like abortion (i.e. not in his direct line of sight) he shrugs and thinks "why should we talk about that when that guy over there has pain in his heart because he's gay? I should go to him".
Nice saintly person, I am not sure he's cut out to be head of the entire church.
“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.” Psalm 118:9
Perhaps this is what happens when believers choose to elevate a man to be “head of the entire church” and lead them, rather than God Himself.
Didn’t work out well for King Saul, or for many others throughout history. Looking back, this pope isn’t the first to wander off the expected path.
YES! I WISH HE THIS POPE WOULD VISIT AN ABORTION SLAUGHTER HOUSE AND REACH OUT TO WOMEN WHO ARE PLANNING ON KILLING THEIR CHILD!!! LET THIS POPE GO OVER THE STORY OF THE SO CALLED DR. GODSNEL AND THEN WALK AWAY AND NOT MAKE ABORTION ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT EVILS TO DEAL WITH IN THE WORLD. 50-60 MILLION DEAD CHILDREN JUST IN THIS COUNTRY AND NOW OBAMACARE IS GOING TO MAKE SURE WOMEN GET ABORTIONS FREE ALONG WITH FREE BIRTH CONTROL=SOCIAL JUSTICE THEOLOGY, I WOULD RATHER DIE POOR THAN KILL MY CHILD!
I’ve refrained from commenting on the Pope, but I must say, I find myself in agreement with your comments here.
He’s a head scratcher for sure!
Well unless they pray alone without a priest or minister or pastor or whatever most people have leaders in their spiritual life.
Generally the Catholic church provides such a common message on faith and morals with the exception of some rogues priests and nuns. This common message is driven from the Vatican.
However in the case of Francis, he says things with seem in varying ways at odds with this message and confusing to the laity. It seems his thrust is compassion is the supreme virtue and as a result any sort of judgementalism is wrong. This means you shouldn't talk about abortion, you shouldn't exclude atheists or gays or muslims, you shouldn't do anything except embrace everyone all the time and say "I love you!" Well that's all good and all but don't we have things like sacraments (including penance) and aren't we supposed to hold ourselves and others to certain standards of morality? After all, Jesus turned the crowd away from stoning the prostitute but he also told her to sin no more.
Typical progressive. They are not logical...they run on emotion...so they say whatever occurs to them at any given moment.
This is why their leadership is lousy and leaves their underlings in constant confusion.
I remember how Bush communicated. He didn't say a lot of junk but he meant what he said. I'd rather have a leader like that any day of the week.