Pope Francis, flanked by cardinals, arrives in procession at St. Peter’s Square during the Palm Sunday Mass in Vatican City on March 25, 2018.  (Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Last Palm Sunday, Pope Francis and Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle delivered homilies on two separate but alarming issues of the day.

Speaking before thousands of youths in Vatican City, Pope Francis lamented on the attempts to silence the voices of young people from expressing their protestations against violence and unnecessary killings in society.

With the “March For Our Lives” rally still fresh in the minds of some 800,000 gun control supporters who took to Washington, D.C. streets and in 800 related protests around the U.S. and the world last weekend, the leader of the Catholic Church has called on young people “not let themselves be silenced.”

Pope Francis addressed thousands who gathered in St. Peter’s Square and referred to a number of biblical passages, including lessons that could be learned from the story of the crucifixion as Lent was about to end and Holy Week was beginning.

“Young people, you have it in you to shout,” the Pope said.

“It is up to you not to keep quiet. Even if others keep quiet, if we older people and leaders keep quiet, if the whole world keeps quiet and loses its joy, I ask you: Will you cry out?”

His address to his young flock came the day after worldwide demonstrations took place in response to last month’s mass shooting in Parkland, Florida that killed 17 high school students and wounded another 17, which, enraged the surviving classmates.

He called on youthful voices to be listened to.

The marches and demonstrations were organized and promoted by student-survivors of the attack.

The youth-led rallies across the United States demanded stricter gun control measures from their lawmakers.

“Dear young people, the joy that Jesus awakens in you is a source of anger and irritation to some, since a joyful young person is hard to manipulate,” Pope Francis continued.

“The temptation to silence young people has always existed. There are many ways to silence young people and make them invisible. Many ways to anesthetize them, to make them keep quiet, ask nothing, question nothing,” he added.

“There are many ways to sedate them, to keep them from getting involved, to make their dreams flat and dreary, petty and plaintive.”

The Sunday Papal speech was followed up on his official Twitter account, which has gained more than 17 million followers.

Pope Francis wrote: “Dear young people, never get tired of being instruments of peace and joy among your peers!”

This progressive stance of Pope Francis in understanding young people and his bold approach to their lamentations will be one of the significant legacies that this 81-year-old Pope will leave behind when he departs from the papacy.

Philippines’ Cardinal Tagle


Also on Palm Sunday, in his homily, Cardinal Tagle (pictured above) expressed his lamentation about present-day leaders (he called them “kings”) who are exceedingly proud, devoid of humility and oozing with self-confidence and the many who follow those types of leaders blindly, who utilize violence, guns and threats, usually, against the weak and the poor.

Speaking in Tagalog, the Cardinal said, “Sa mundo natin ngayon, namamayagpag ang mga haring puno ng kayabangan, kapos sa kapakumbabaan. Sa panahon natin ngayon, kay dami-raming sumusunod sa mga hari na ang ginagamit ay dahas, armas, pananakotkapos na kapos sa pang-unawa at pakikiisa sa mga mahihina.”

He urged these leaders to instead emulate the example of humility in leadership set by Jesus Christ.

“Our king does not rely on violence, in arms, in swords, in bullets and guns. Our king trusts in God alone,” Cardinal Tagle stressed.

Although he did not name names, it is not difficult to pinpoint who the good Cardinal was referring to.

Who else?


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