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Pope Francis: There is also corruption in the Vatican. It's like sugar: abuse it and you get sick

2015-11-27

Here's the song young people in Kenya sang as Pope Francis entered Kasarani stadium in Nairobi.

It was "Hakuna Matata,” one of the most famous African phrases. However, the conversation in the stadium remained very serious, as young people described the troubles they face.

One blind youth read a biblical text. Another one, Linet, asked the Pope about corruption and tribalism.

"Why should the tribal origin define us?" 

Emmanuel quizzed Pope Francis about the mystery of pain and suffering and why young people get involved in radical militias.

"What can we do to stop our loved ones from being recruited? How can we bring them back to the fault?"

The Pope went straight to the heart of the problem in his responses.

POPE FRANCIS
"Life is full of difficulties. But there are two ways to face these difficulties: to look at them as something that blocks you, that destroys you, that detains you, or to look at them as an opportunity. And you can make a choice.”

Tribalism destroys, the Pope explained. He said that to resolve it, people must open up their ears, heart, and hands.

POPE FRANCIS
"With the ear: What is your culture? Why does your tribe have these customs? Does your tribe feel superior of inferior? With the heart: Once I hear the response, I open my heart and reach with hands for further dialogue. If you don't dialogue and you don't listen to each other, there will always be tribalism.”

The Pope wanted to put the idea into practice immediately. So he asked everyone to hold hands and always move forward together united as a people. Speaking about corruption, he had harsh words and said that the beginning of the fight must begin within yourself.

POPE FRANCIS
"But it's not only in politics. It's in all institutions. Even in the Vatican there are cases of corruption. Corruption is something that hits us inside. It's like sugar. It's sweet. We like it. It's easy. And afterward it ends badly. With so much sugar it's easy for us to become diabetic or for our country to end up diabetic.”

Young people joining radical militant groups is becoming a problem in Kenya. He discussed the root cause of the issue.

POPE FRANCIS
"If a young people don't have work, can't study, what can they do? Become delinquents or fall under dependency or kill themselves... Or they can take part in an activity that is the end of life, cheated or seduced... What can I do to help them or have them come back? First, pray for them. But strongly. God is stronger than recruitment. And after, speak with tenderness, with sympathy, with love. And with patience invite them to a game or to hang out or to be together. Don't leave them alone.”

Before leaving, the Pope revealed what he keeps in his pocket to make sure he never loses hope: a rosary and a small Stations of the Cross.

It was the final major meeting during the Pope's trip to Kenya. And it seems like it left an indelible mark on those who attended, including the Pope.


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