Pope Francis has urged young people to use their voice for what is right, and not to let older generations silence them.
Speaking a day after 850,000 Americans rallied across the United States demanding stricter gun control laws, Pope Francis spoke passionately in Vatican City on the Catholic Church's World Day of Youth.
In his service, which marked the start of the Holy Week lead up to Easter, the Pope encouraged young people to keep shouting.
The Pope did not directly mention the demonstrations across America. However, two teenage students of Stoneman Douglas High School, Gabriella and Valentina Zuniga, were in attendance at his service.
Joining #PopeFrancis for Palm Sunday after #MarchForOurLives: Valentina & Gabriella Zuniga, students from Stoneman Douglas High, along with their parents, Patrizia (far right) and Hugo (seated). Paul Haring photo. pic.twitter.com/n1cs5LF4Tq— Catholic News Service (@CatholicNewsSvc) March 25, 2018
Pope Francis (81) was speaking on Palm Sunday.
“The temptation to silence young people has always existed,” Francis said in the homily of a Mass," the Pope told the congregation.
“There are many ways to silence young people and make them invisible. Many ways to anesthetize them, to make them keep quiet, ask nothing, question nothing. There are many ways to sedate them, to keep them from getting involved, to make their dreams flat and dreary, petty and plaintive,” he said.
Dear young people, never get tired of being instruments of peace and joy among your peers!— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) March 25, 2018
“Dear young people, you have it in you to shout,” he concluded. “It is up to you not to keep quiet. Even if others keep quiet, if we older people and leaders, some corrupt, keep quiet, if the whole world keeps quiet and loses its joy, I ask you: Will you cry out?”
In response, the young people in attendance shouted "Yes!"