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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Pope to Korean leaders: Honour our ancestors, treasure youth















 Pope Francis and Korean President Park Geun-hye







 Full text of Pope Francis’ address

In his address, Pope Francis spoke of the two occasions that have brought him to South Korea: the Sixth Asian Youth Day, and the Beatification of 124 Korean martyrs. “These two celebrations complement one another,” the Holy Father said. “Korean culture understands well the inherent dignity and wisdom of our elders and honors their place in society. We Catholics honor our elders who were martyred for the faith because they were willing to give their lives for the truth which they had come to believe and by which they sought to live their lives.”
But, the Pope continued, “A wise and great people do not only cherish their ancestral traditions; they also treasure their young, seeking to pass on the legacy of the past and to apply it to the challenges of the present. Whenever young people gather together, as on the present occasion, it is a precious opportunity for all of us to listen to their hopes and concerns.”
With regard to the challenges and opportunities facing the world today, the Pope said “it is especially important for us to reflect on the need to give our young people the gift of peace” – an appeal that resonates strongly in Korea, “a land which has long suffered because of a lack of peace.” The quest for peace, he said, is especially incumbent on political leaders, who must recognize that “peace can be won through quiet listening and dialogue, rather than by mutual recriminations, fruitless criticisms, and displays of force.” Political leaders, he said, direct their efforts to the goal of building a better, more peaceful, just, and prosperous world for our children.”