Pope Francis Warns Youth on the Dangers of Virtual World Illusions

By Charles Igwe

Kicking off World Youth Day in Lisbon, Pope Francis delivered a profound message to the gathered young people, cautioning against the allure of the virtual world and advocating for staying rooted in reality while maintaining a strong connection with Christ.


Addressing the enthusiastic crowd at Lisbon’s Eduardo VII Park during the opening ceremony of World Youth Day, the Pope expressed his delight in witnessing their “infectious joy.” He reminded the youth that God calls each of them by name, emphasizing their uniqueness and value in His eyes. In contrast, he cautioned against the virtual world, where names are mere data points processed by algorithms, failing to appreciate the individuals’ true essence.


The Pope urged the youth not to be deceived by false appearances and empty promises, highlighting the emptiness of pursuing superficial and surrogate things that ultimately leave them feeling unfulfilled. In contrast, he assured them that Jesus’ love is genuine, offering trust and acceptance. He stressed that the Church should be a welcoming home for all, creating space even for those who make mistakes or struggle.

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Addressing their restlessness, Pope Francis encouraged the youth to embrace it as a remedy for monotony and routine that can dull the soul. He inspired them to entrust themselves to the Virgin Mary, an exemplary figure of openness to God’s love.


During his visit to Portugal for World Youth Day, Pope Francis also visited Fatima, where he further engaged with young people and participated in various significant WYD events. The Pope’s powerful message serves as a reminder for the youth to stay anchored in authenticity and to find purpose and fulfillment in their relationship with Christ rather than in the illusory world of technology.

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