When Pope Francis was in Rio de Janeiro in July 2013, he told young Catholics gathered on the beach that they rightly protest, “to express the desire of a more just and brotherly civilization.”[i] He told the crowd, “The young people in the street are the ones who want to be actors of change. Please don’t let others be actors of change.” He advised Brazilian leaders to talk with the youthful protesters: “Dialogue, dialogue. It is the only way for individuals, families and societies to grow, the only way for the life of peoples to progress.” He told the world, “We must say we don’t want this globalized economic system which does us so much harm.”[ii] Two years later he told a group of young people in Paraguay that the economic system is the “dung of the devil” and a “subtle dictatorship” than enslaves people. He encouraged them to “Shake things up! But then help to clean up and organize the mess you make.”[iii]
[i] Agence France Presse, “Pope Francis Voices Support for Protestors in Brazil,” Business Insider, July 27, 2013.
[ii] Scott Helley host, “60 Minutes Presents: Inside the Vatican,” CBS, December 28, 2014.
[iii] Lauren McCauley, “Pope Tells Youth: ‘Make a Mess,’” Axis of Logic, July 14, 2015.