Published: Tue, March 20, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

See What Pope Francis Says About Men That patronize Prostitute

See What Pope Francis Says About Men That patronize Prostitute

"We need to ask young people forgiveness because we don't always take them seriously", he writes.

Nicholas Lopez, a college campus minister from Texas, told Francis that young people today face racism, poverty and gang violence, as well as "unjust immigration laws that threaten to split children from families".

"Too often people speak of youth without consulting you", the pope said.

In his opening speech for the March 19 session, Pope Francis told youth that "your contribution is indispensable" for the preparation of the October synod gathering.

"We need to dare [to take] new paths, even if it involves risks", he said, adding that risk is necessary because "love knows how to risk; without risk a young person grows old, and it also makes the Church grow old".

In a marathon question-answer conversation with several hundred young people in Rome on Monday, the Catholic Church's Pope Francis attacked prostitution, praying for the forgiveness of all Catholic men who engage in purchasing sex from prostitutes.

As the Australia-born daughter of two Iraqis, who lives in a multiethnic country and is connected by social media with people all over the world, Markas said it was hard to know who to listen to and to know "which path should I take, given that I can virtually take any". "The Church", he said, "must learn new ways of presence and closeness".

Blessing Okodion, a young Nigerian rescued from forced prostitution in Italy, asked the pope what could be done to increase awareness of human trafficking and whether the church, which is "still too chauvinistic", really is capable of helping young women and men relate to each other as equals. "This is criminal, a sick mentality", he said.

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'I think of the disgust these girls must feel when men make them do these things'. "It is a sickness of humanity, a sickness of looking at society in a certain way, a crime against humanity", he said, adding that feminism has not been able to deal with the problem.

Francis also heard some tough talk from Angela Markas, 22, of Australia. What women endure is "unbelievable", he said, and called the practice a form of "slavery".

"We must risk, because love knows how to risk, without risk, a young person ages, and the Church ages too", Francis said.

And one, a seminarian from Ukraine, asked about tattoos.

"A priest is a testimony of Christ to the extent that he is a member of that community", he said, adding that if there is not community in a parish, "the bishop needs to intervene". Fewer and fewer young people are joining the priesthood or entering religious orders.

"Of course, there can be exaggerations", the pope said.

This message echoed that of the young individuals who inaugurated the meeting by asking participants, including the pope, to look under their seats where they found a note saying: "God loves you immensely". He said he is not sure if he wants to approach the Catholic Church for help because it is so big and he doesn't want to give up his freedom. "Don't overprotect", he said, because doing so prevents people "from maturing psychologically" and from responding to people in need.

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