Pope Francis held a meeting with members of Paraguayan civil society. He met with young people, laborers, farmers, indigenous people, businessmen, women, artists, and athletes.
Pope Francis improvised most of his speech and he also took questions. He urged young people not to conflate happiness with pleasure and not to live an "anesthetized” life.
He also spoke about poverty. The Pope explained that we can learn a lot from the most vulnerable in society and that ideology is not the solution to their problems.
"It is useless to have an ideological outlook that ends up using the poor to serve political and personal ends. Ideologies end up poorly. They do not work. Ideologies have an incomplete or sick or bad relationship with people. Ideologies do not take into account the people. For proof, just look at the last century. Where did those ideologies lead? To dictatorship, every time, always.”
For that reason, he said, the creation of wealth must be at the service of the common good and must promote human dignity.
"I ask you not to give in to an idolatrous economic model that requires the sacrifice of human lives on the altar of money and of profitability.”
The Pope added that corruption makes people sick and asked that Paraguayans concern themselves especially with the poorest among them. In this way, said the Pope, they will give witness to the possibility of a better world.