Pope Francis, visiting Assisi, the birthplace of St Francis, on 24 September called on for “courage” in abandoning fossil fuels and lamented that older generations didn’t know how to protect the planet and secure peace.
The Pope told young people he was pinning his hopes on their efforts in working to save the planet and to make the world’s economy more attentive to the poor.
During his brief visit Francis spoke to a gathering of some 1,000 young people, some of them young economists. Others are involved in efforts including start-ups, focused on helping the environment.
The participants came from all over the world.
The pope said a world economy is needed that expresses “a new vision of the environment and the Earth.” “There are many people, businesses and institutions that are making an ecological conversion. We need to go forward on this road and do more,” Francis said.
The pontiff cited an urgent need to discuss models of development. “Now is the time for new courage in abandoning fossil fuels to accelerate the development of zero- or positive-impact sources of energy,” Francis said.
He told the young people: “Our generation has left you with a rich heritage, but we have not known how to protect the planet and are not securing peace. He lamented a lack of “creativity, optimism, enthusiasm,” and told young people that “we are grateful to God that you are here. Not only will you be there tomorrow, but you are here today.”
At the end of the meeting, Pope Francis signed the 12-point “Francis Economy” Pact with young people in Assisi.
- “An economy of peace and not of war”.
- “An economy that counters the proliferation of weapons, especially the most destructive ones”.
- “An economy that cares for creation and does not steal it”.
- “An economy at the service of the person, the family and life, respectful of every woman, man, child, the elderly and especially the most fragile and vulnerable”.
- “An economy where care replaces discarding and indifference”.
- “An economy that leaves no one behind, to build a society in which the stones discarded by the dominant mentality become cornerstones”.
- “An economy that recognizes and protects decent and secure work for all, especially for women”.
- “An economy where finance is a friend and ally of the real economy and work, not against them.
- “An economy that knows how to promote and preserve the cultures and traditions of peoples, all species, the living and natural resources of the Earth.
- “An economy that fights poverty in all its forms, reduces inequalities and knows how to say, with Jesus and Francis, ‘blessed are the poor’”.
- “An economy guided by the ethics of the person and open to transcendence”.
- “An economy that generates wealth for all, that generates joy and not only well-being, because happiness that is not shared is little”.
(Photo: Vatican Media)