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Pope Francis with indigenous people in the Vatican on May 30, 2018. Pope Francis with indigenous people in the Vatican on May 30, 2018.  (AFP or licensors)

Pope’s video message to World Indigenous Youth Gathering in Panama

In the video message, Pope Francis is addressing young indigenous people from around the globe who are holding the World Indigenous Youth Gathering in Soloy, Panama, from January 17 to 21.

By Vatican News

Pope Francis on Friday addressed a video message to the world’s young indigenous people holding their World Indigenous Youth Gathering in Soloy, Diocese of David, Panama, from January 17 to 21.  The young people will then move on to Panama city to join the World Youth Day (WYD) 2019, January 22-27, which the Pope is joining on January 23.

Speaking in Spanish, the Pope is encouraging the indigenous young people to hold on to their cultures and roots by fighting marginalization, exclusion, waste and impoverishment that is threatening them and build another world that is possible and that is more just and human.

Pope Francis' video message: original version in Spanish

Please find below a working translation of the Pope's video message:

Dear young people,

At the end of World Youth Day in Krakow in July 2016, I told the young volunteers: “We assume the memory of our past to build the future with courage”. And this is the motto that you have chosen for this World Meeting of Indigenous Youth that brought you together from January 17 to 21 of this year (pre-GMG) in Soloy, Comarca Ngäbe-Buglé, diocese of David, Panama.

I congratulate you because this is the first time that a pre-WYD meeting has been organized specifically for youth of indigenous and native peoples at the world level. It is an initiative for which I would like to thank the Section for the Pastoral Care of the Indigenous People of the Bishops' Conference of Panama, supported by CELAM.

Dear young people, I urge you that this meeting, which brings together hundreds of young people from different native peoples, may serve to reflect and celebrate your faith in Jesus Christ starting from the millennial richness of your original cultures. I urge that this be an opportunity for you to respond to the invitation, addressed to young people at other times, to be grateful for the history of your peoples and courageous in the face of the challenges that surround you, to move forward full of hope in building another possible world.

Return to native cultures. Take care of the roots, because from the roots comes the strength that will make you grow, prosper and bear fruit. It must also be a way of showing the indigenous face of our Church in the context of WYD and of affirming our commitment to protect the Common House and to collaborate in building another possible world, that is more just and more human.

Undoubtedly, the themes that, according to the programme, will be the object of your reflection, will stimulate the search for answers, from an evangelical perspective, to so many and so scandalous situations of marginalization, exclusion, waste and impoverishment to which millions of young people are condemned, especially the youth of native peoples, in the world. May your actions, the awareness of belonging to your peoples, be a reaction against this culture of waste, against this culture of forgetting your roots, projected towards a future that is ever more liquid, gaseous and without foundation.

Boys and girls, take care of your cultures! Take care of your roots! But don't stop there: from those roots grow, flower, bear fruit. A poet has said that "everything that the tree has in bloom, comes from what is underground.” The roots . But roots taken  into the future. Projected into the future. This is your challenge today.

It will be a pleasure for me to meet you in Panama. And in the meantime, my best wishes for the meeting and I give you my blessing.

Jatuaida , Jamorogodre.

May God bless you!

18 January 2019, 14:42