John Paul II

Pope John Paul II asked a crowd to refuse greed and consumerism

When Pope John Paul II visited Chile, he asked a crowd of tens of thousands to refuse greed and consumerism –to which they replied «yes», to reject the idol of power, «yes», but when he asked them to reject the idol of «sex and pleasure», the whole stadium replied an outright «NO!»

On the morning of Thursday, April 2 , visited the president , General Augusto Pinochet in the Palacio de La Moneda . The conversation between the two lasted 42 minutes, when it was initially only meant for 10. In the interview, Pinochet asked the pope: “Why the Church is always talking about democracy? For me, good accounts, a method of government is as good as another. ” The Pope replied politely but firmly: “No. People are entitled to their freedom, even if you make mistakes in the exercise of them. ”  Among the little that Pinochet himself has revealed about the conversation is that the pope should be emphasized that ‘ patience ‘.

He finished the visit to the palace, the population went Flag in the town of San Ramon , where he had a meeting with the villagers. There he heard the testimony of the worker Mario Mejias, who had been unjustly tortured by the police, and the hostess Luisa Riveros, who openly denounced the harassment they received settlers from state agencies, even if they are innocent of the charges they were accused. Both the pope and hugged affectionately remember him as the happiest moment of their lives. The worker suffered a burglary and subsequent detention by police . At this meeting the Pope shared a cup of tea and homemade bread, the usual food of the popular sectors in Chile, and blessed the loaves carrying presents. The scenario that made ​​this meeting emulated housing residents themselves, constructed of wood.

By mid-afternoon, the pope moved to airfield Rodelillo , at the entrance to Valparaiso , where he held a Mass with families. In his sermon urged the strengthening of emphatic fashion family as the “sanctuary of life and love” cradle where the Christian faith and society develops. Strongly condemned the divorce , calling it “painful cancer.” In this Mass, thousands of families gathered at the place given by their children, renewed their wedding vows and received a blessing from John Paul II.

John Paul II

On the evening of that day, a meeting with young people was held at the National Stadium , “place of competitions, but also the pain and suffering,” referring to the arrests in that place during the harsh repression that followed the coup Chile in 1973 . On the lawn of the stadium, the Pope traced the sign of the cross , “that from here bud peace and reconciliation.” Many felt it as a kind of exorcism over the place. In the liturgy officiated at the Stadium, Pope, pointing with his hand an image of Jesus Christ located in the Stadium scoreboard said:

Do not be afraid to look to Him.

He called on the youth to commit to a profound change in society, that only comes from Jesus Christ, the only source of life, that life which the world longs.

Contact with Christ blunts life. Apart from him there is only darkness and death. You are thirsty! Do thirst for eternal life? Look for it!.

He invited them to be protagonists of a country and a new world, a civilization of love, banishing the “idols” that destroy that love, like violence, hatred, selfishness, death, etc.. Upon questioning young people about chastity and abstinence from sex until marriage in pursuit of this new civilization, a resounding “no” was heard. Then Pope explains: “when I ask them to quit the sex, I mean as soon as it becomes the enemy that destroys love.” Applause closed attendees.