ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE DELEGATION OF THE "SCOUTS UNITAIRES DE FRANCE"
Sala Clementina - Friday, May 14, 2021Bonjour !
I am pleased to meet you members of the Scouts Unitaires de France , who are celebrating the 50th anniversary of your birth, and I warmly welcome you to Rome.
I thank the Council for the Pastoral Care of Children and Youth of the Conference of Bishops of France, as well as you responsible, for this initiative which recognizes you, young scouts, as protagonists in evangelization and in the construction of society. I also thank you for the kind words of introduction you have addressed to me. Très poétique, très poétique! Cela que vous avez dit sur Saint Joseph: très bon!
In society, we too often find a deterioration in human relations and a lack of trustworthy role models for young people seeking training. This situation is made even more precarious by the current health crisis, which has reduced the chances of meeting to fraternize and build new friends. In the face of all these difficulties, your scout movement is a sign of encouragement for young people, because it invites them to dream and to act, to have the courage to look to the future with hope. In fact, through your pedagogy of the elder brother and sister who protect and accompany the little ones, patiently helping them to discover and make fruitful the talents received from the Lord, you show how "we all need to live real human relationships and not just virtual ones,Urbi et Orbi Message , April 4, 2021). And I am especially grateful to the couples who support you and who testify among you to the beauty of marriage.
The scout, with his willingness to serve others, is also called to work for a more "extroverted" Church and for a more human world. For this purpose you have the noble mission of witnessing wherever you are that, with your faith and your commitment, you can enhance the richness of human relationships and make them a common good that helps social renewal. Therefore, I urge you to be dynamic Christians and faithful Scouts at the same time! And you will be trying to be consistent with the values you carry, having strong convictions, based on the Gospel, in a spirit of openness to others. Then your actions will benefit the society in which you live in various ways (cf. Enc. Brothers all , 203).
Thanks to your relationship with nature, you carry the message that respect for others and the environment go hand in hand and that therefore "we cannot delude ourselves to restore our relationship with nature and the environment without healing all relationships. human fundamental "(Enc. Laudato si ' , 119).
I invite you not to be discouraged by the selfishness of the world, not to close in on yourselves, not to be young inert, without ideals and without dreams. Never lose sight of the fact that the Lord calls you all to carry the missionary announcement without fear, wherever you are, especially among young people, in your neighborhoods, in sports, when you go out with friends, in volunteering and at work. Always and everywhere you share the joy of the Gospel that makes you live! The Lord desires you to be his disciples and to spread light and hope, because he counts on your audacity, your courage and your enthusiasm (cf. Apostolic Exhortation postsin. Christus vivit , 177).
Dear friends, I once again encourage you in your effort to make Catholic Scouting a movement of sowers of hope and the rediscovery of community life. I thank God for your witness during these fifty years in the service of your brothers and sisters, and of the Church, which you support above all with your prayers.
I hope that this jubilee will be an opportunity for each of you to renew your commitments, according to the legacy received from those who preceded you, in order to help young people to become free and responsible people, respectful of others and their environment.
I entrust the Scouts Unitaires de France to the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary . May she turn her gaze full of mercy on each and every one of you and lead you to be faithful disciples of her Son. I bless all of you, your families and the people who accompany you with their spiritual and material support. And I ask you, please, not to forget to pray for me. Thank you.
FULL TEXT + Image Screenshot from Vatican.va - unofficial Translation