La Estrella de Panamá

23 de Oct de 2019

El Papa en Panamá

Francis said to the young people not to be like those who build walls

The Pope walked through the Santa Maria La Antigua Field to greet up close the young people and asked them to build bridges to the differences that exist between the individuals

Francis said to the young people not to be like those who build walls

The young people of the world received Pope Francis this Thursday afternoon at the Coastal Strip, which has been baptized with the name of Santa Maria La Antigua Field in the middle of a music and dance festival in what was an overload of emotion and joy.

Excitement was felt among the hundreds of young people who arrived early morning at the Coastal Strip to reserve a space that would allow them to see the Pope in his first official participation in the World Youth Day.

In an apparent challenge to the immigration policy of the President of the United States, Donald Trump, Pope Francis highlighted that although there are differences in clothes, languages, cultures and other things that make us different, you cannot be like those who build walls to keep the distance, on the contrary, he asked to build bridges to become closer.

We must "contradict and discredit" those "builders of walls that seek to divide and strike fear."

This will not be the first time that Francis questions President Donald Trump’s intention to build a wall in the border with Mexico to slow down immigration. Already in February 2016 he said that it is not Christian to create divisions.

Also in his flight to Panama he questioned again the decision to divide both countries with a wall.

Francis asked the young people more than once if they wanted to be builders of bridges, not of walls. He asked them: Do you want to be builder of walls? And the young ones responded in one voice, we want to be builders of bridges.”

Before his speech, Pope Francis travelled around the Coastal Strip in the popemobile, from where he greeted closely to youngsters who had gathered at the Coastal Strip.

In the event, Francis received the symbols of the WYD and a message in each of the languages of the participants in this activity.

The unrelenting sun on the Coastal Strip sidewalks was no impediment for young people to welcome the Pope.

Before the ceremony a group of Venezuelan young people walked with a banner with the Venezuelan flag colors and a legend in English with the words "pray for Venezuela".

Translation Marijulia Pujol