Stir things up’ by creating culture of respect, pope tells Cuban youths

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Fear nothing, break the chains that may bind you and bring hope to the world, Pope Francis told young people attending a special World Youth Day gathering in Cuba.

Let the Gospel transform your lives so that you can build bridges and promote a culture of encounter, respect, mutual understanding and forgiveness, the pope said in a video message sent July 28.

"This is ‘stirring things up,’ this is to dream. And you, young people have to ‘stir things up,’" he said. The Vatican released a transcript of the message July 29.

To help young Cubans who couldn’t afford the trip to World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, feel more connected to the international gathering in Europe, the pope sent a video message specifically for them as they attended their own celebrations in Havana.

"We cannot love God if we do not love our brothers and sisters," he said.

He told them that when they walk through the Holy Door in their archdiocese they should let themselves become "infected" with God’s love, so that they will be able to look at others with mercy and tenderness, especially those in need.

"Love is constructive, love does not destroy — not even your enemy," he said.

"Young people, do not be afraid of anything, be free from the shackles of the world and proclaim to everyone — to the ill, the elderly, the sad — that the church is crying together with them and that Jesus can give them new life, revive them."

Bring people hope — the kind of hope that even includes people who think differently, Pope Francis told them.

Everyone can build bridges with their words, hearts and dreams, and by working together, he said.

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