Youth and service: This was the visit of Pope Francis to Panama

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From January 23 to 27, the Supreme Pontiff was present at World Youth Day 2019 that took place in Panamanian lands

Youth and service: This was the visit of Pope Francis to Panama

Last Sunday, January 27, at 6:00 p.m., Pope Francis said goodbye to Panamanian lands, where he was since the 23rd. During almost five days in Panama, Francisco dealt mainly with issues related to young people, in occasion of World Youth Day 2019, which took place in that country. However, during his speeches, he also spoke about the politics and reality of the region, especially the crisis in Venezuela.

Leer en español: Juventud y servicio: Así fue la visita del Papa Francisco a Panamá

However, issues such as terrorism in Colombia and migration resulting from the struggles in countries of Central America such as Nicaragua and Guatemala, also made part of their speeches.

You may be interested: Venezuela: source of friction in the Security Council

Young church

"This is the youth of the Pope!" was the phrase that, according to Caracol Radio, was heard during the visit of the 'Latin American Pope' to Panama.

During his papacy, Jorge Bergoglio has recognized the importance of the new generations in the growth and strengthening of the Catholic Church. "Dear young people, you are not the future, but the present of God", said Francisco, quoted by the newspaper La Prensa.

But what most surprised the press were the statements of Brenda Noriega, who with four other boys and girls accompanied the Supreme Pontiff in a private meeting, as a symbolic act in which Francisco participated and a young man in representation of each continent of the World.

According to El País de Cali, Noriega said that in that conversation, Pope Francis did not speak with euphemisms about the sexual abuse that part of the clergy has had towards the children, adolescents and youth of the Church. "The Pope told us that this was a horrible crime and that the Church can not tolerate this type of crime", said the Mexican woman that lives in the United States.

Before this, he thanked the five young people for their human spirit and considered their "brothers", and urged them to "pray for them (the victims) and for the bishops".

Returning to Panamanian streets, the Holy Father congratulated the young crowd that accompanied him during a large part of his visit, because, as he said, "they could have chosen other things perfectly, but they wanted to commit themselves, to give their best to make possible the miracle of multiplication, not only of the loaves but of the hope. We need to multiply hope. "

"Thank you, thank you, thank you", were the final words to the youth, during the homily that took place at the Rommel Fernández stadium, which was attended by more than "19,500 volunteers", explained EFE.

Service as a lifestyle

During his days in Panama, Francisco did not stop insisting on the importance of the company and the service to others or, as he calls it, in a very Christian way, "the neighbor".

"The neighbor is a face that we encounter along the way, and through which we allow ourselves to be moved and moved: to move from our schemes and priorities and deeply moved by what that person lives to give him space and space in our walk", said the Saint Father, in statements collected by Vatican News.

But, what stood out the most is the need to observe the neighbor as "a person", in the first place. In his visit to the Casa Hogar del Buen Samaritano, according to La Prensa, a religious institution that cares about the welfare of minors in advanced stages of illness, the Pope affirmed that the neighbor is someone with "a concrete, real and not something to skip or ignore".

This is why, for many experts and assistants to Francisco's Apostolic Journey, the phrase "Closeness with our neighbor" is the one that best explains the discourse of the so-called Vicar of Christ in Panama.

"I do not want blood"

Finally, Francisco did not want to be alien to the political and social reality of the region , so, as reported by Caracol Radio, in the middle of the Angelus prayer, on January 27, the Pope raised his clamor to heaven and asked for the peace and forgiveness of the souls of the 21 cadets who died during the 'car bomb' that exploded at the Santander General Police School on January 17, in Bogotá (Colombia).

Likewise, he expressed his solidarity with the migrants in Latin America, who have sought refuge in their sister countries, having to leave territories in crisis such as the Venezuelan, Nicaraguan or Guatemalan . "Many of the migrants have a young face, they look for a greater good for their families, they do not fear to risk and leave everything in order to offer the minimum of conditions that guarantee a better future", recalled Francisco.

However, as for the Venezuelan situation, it was much clearer and more specific, since, in addition to showing his fear for a "bloodshed", he said he was ready to serve as guarantor between the Venezuelan government, led by Nicolás Maduro, and the opposition, whose representative is the current president in charge of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó.

"I have to be balanced. I do not like the word balanced. I have to be a pastor. And if they need help, by mutual agreement, they ask for it, "Pope Francis said on the plane that took him from Panama to Rome, according to El Clarín.

In this way, in Panama, the Supreme Pontiff demonstrated once again his commitment to youth, the spiritual growth of the same and the political-social reality in which he is developing.


LatinAmerican Post | Christopher Ramírez Hernández

Translated from "Juventud y servicio: así fue la visita del papa a Panamá"

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