Year of Youth 2018

Pope Launches Caritas Refugee Initiative

Last edited 27th September 2017

Pope Launches Caritas Refugee Initiative

"Those who come to our land and we who go toward their heart to understand them, to understand their culture and language" embark on a shared journey that "without hope cannot be done," Francis said at his weekly general audience.

"Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to share the journey! Do not be afraid to share hope," he said.
During the audience, the Pope launched the "Share the Journey" campaign, an initiative sponsored by Caritas Internationalis, the global network of Catholic charitable agencies, including Caritas Australia.

The campaign encourages Catholics to understand, get to know, and welcome refugees and migrants.

Continuing his series of audience talks on Christian hope, Francis reflected on the enemies of hope who, like the Greek myth of Pandora's box, "unleash so many misfortunes throughout the world's history".

However, he said, few people remember that at the end of the story, the final item unleashed from the box is hope, which is what "sustains life, protects it, cares for it and makes it grow".

"If humankind had not cultivated hope, if they had not been sustained by this virtue, they would have remained in the caves and would not leave their mark in world history," the Pope said. Hope "is the most divine thing that exists in the human heart".

While the poor tend to be "the bearers of hope," he said, there are others, especially young men and women, who may have the "misfortune" of having everything, but who are not taught the "virtue of waiting and patience".

"They are destined to the worst punishment: that of not desiring anything," he said. "To close the door to desires, to dreams - they look young, but instead autumn has already fallen in their hearts. They are the youths of autumn."

Francis urged Christians to keep hope alive and fight against desperation through Jesus "who can open wide the doors" and "look beyond the horizon.

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