Pope Francis’ stressed this to Panamaian authorities and the diplomatic corps this morning in Panama City, on his first full day in Panama, his first visit ever to the Central American county. This Apostolic Visit for the occasion of the XXXIV World Youth Day marks the Pontiff’s 26th international trip and his 40th country visited.
He has kicked off this morning addressing authorities, and before lunch, speaking to the Bishops of Central America (SEDAC) in the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi in Panama City, reminding them to be good pastors, looking out for the good of their people, before that of themselves.
In his address to authorities, he stressed that we know another world is possible and young people urge us to take our part in building it, “so that our dreams do not remain ephemeral or ethereal, but can promote a social contract in which everyone has the chance to dream of a tomorrow.”
“The right to the future is also a human right,” he underscored.
Speaking of the future and young people, he noted: “By welcoming the dreams of these young people, Panama becomes once more a land of dreams that challenges so many certainties of our time and opens up vital horizons.” These horizons, he said, can enrich the path ahead through a respectful and compassionate gaze upon others.
Each with a special place
“Each of you,” he underscored, “has a special place in the building of the nation, and is called to ensure that this land can live up to its vocation to be a land of convocation and encounter.”
This, he reminded, involves decision, commitment and daily effort to ensure that all have the opportunity to feel that they are agents of their own destiny and that of their families and the entire nation.
“It is impossible to think of the future of a society without the active – and not merely nominal – participation of each of its members, in such a way that his or her dignity is acknowledged and guaranteed through access to quality education and the promotion of dignified jobs.”
These two realities, the Argentine Pope said, help make it possible to recognize and appreciate the genius and the creative dynamism of this people.