About 5,000 people welcomed Pope Francis to the Vatican's Paul VI Hall. They are all members of the Community of Christian Life and the Student Missionary League, which are both Jesuit organizations.
Speaking off the cuff, the Pope responded to some questions from the audience. One of the questions dealt with the common good.
"We would like everyone, especially the youth to understand that in addition to private interests, which often times prevail, there is also the common good, which is of general interest.”
"What solution does this globalized world offer? It's simple: The focus is money. Not men, not women, no. Money! It has turned into a god. Everything is at the service of this false god, and whatever is not, is discarded.”
Money and power, he added is at the very base of the throw away culture.
"Children are discarded. Whether because couples no longer want them or because they are killed before birth. The elderly are discarded, but now that there are no jobs, people seek out their grandparents because their retirement money can be of help right.”
Despite the challenges, hope, he said, should not be lost. Christians should always work towards the common good.
"You must ask yourself, as a Catholic, Do I see reality from afar? You can't be a spectator. Commit yourself. Do your best. If the Lord calls you to it, get involved in politics. It will make you suffer, perhaps even lead you to sin, but the Lord is with you. Ask for forgiveness and go forward.”
The two groups were gathered in Rome as part of an international meeting titled 'Beyond Walls.' Their mission is to help immigrants who make their way to Europe, including Christians from Syria.