In August 2023, Pope Francis visited Lisbon, Portugal, to preside over a major Catholic youth festival. The Pope's visit was seen as an opportunity to invest in the future of the Catholic Church and to energize young people around the world.
During his visit, the Pope delivered a blunt message to the people of Portugal and to the rest of Europe. He called on the continent to invest in its young people, warning that without a strong commitment to the future, Europe risked becoming a "grandmother" continent that had lost its vitality and energy.
The Pope's message was well received by the young people who attended the festival. Many of them spoke about the need for the Catholic Church to be more engaged with the world and to be more open to new ideas and perspectives.
In addition to his message of hope and inspiration, the Pope also addressed the issue of clergy sexual abuse. He met with survivors of abuse and listened intently to their stories. The Vatican later issued a statement, saying that the Pope was committed to taking concrete steps to address the scandal of clergy sexual abuse and to ensure that such abuse never happened again.
The Pope's visit to Lisbon was seen as a significant moment for the Catholic Church, and for the people of Portugal. It was an opportunity for the Church to connect with young people and to show that it was committed to building a better future for all people.
As the Pope said in his video remarks before the visit, "I want to see a seed for the world's future planted in Lisbon." With his message of hope and inspiration, and his commitment, it is clear that the Pope is working to do just that.
The visit also highlighted the importance of Portugal as a center of Catholicism and as a place of pilgrimage for people around the world. The country's rich history and culture were on full display during the festival, and the Pope's visit was seen as a testament to the enduring power of faith and tradition. The visit of Pope Francis to Lisbon was a reminder of the importance of faith, hope, and love in building a better future for all people.