Catholic youth must help – Pope may die soon

Catholic youth must be ready to lead the Church, Pope Francis said at a service on Saturday.

The service aimed to rally enthusiasm for the Church’s World Youth Day.  It will be held in Panama in 2019.

“At my age, we (old people) are about to pass away,” he said.

“The future is in your hands.”

At present. Francis is preparing for the next big meeting of the world’s bishops. The synod will focus on young people.

The Vatican has sought young people’s help to inform its work and participate in the synod.

Help is needed not just from dedicated Catholics but all young people, atheists included, Francis said.

“Who guarantees life? No one. At your age, you have the future ahead of you,” Francis urged his youthful congregation.

A few minutes later, Francis referred to his mortality again.

He hinted he may not be around to lead the planned World Youth Day.

“I don’t know if it will be me, but the pope will be in Panama!” he said.

Francis has often said he does not expect to be pope for very long.

He has suggested he may be around for four or five years – in which time he says he may die, or retire like Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI.



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