PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – While speaking to bishops at archbishops in St. Martin's Chapel at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Pope Francis spoke about consumerism and society's use of social networks.
"Today's culture seems to encourage people to not bond with anything or anyone. Not to trust or let others trust in them. The most important thing today seems to be to follow the latest trend or activity, even at a religious level."
He continued, "Today, consumerism determines what is important. Consuming relationships, consuming friendships, consuming religions. Consuming whatever the costs or consequences."
"Consumption has little to do with human relationships. Social bonds are a mere means for satisfaction of my needs. The important thing is no longer our neighbor, with his or her familiar face, story and personality. The result is a culture which discards everything. Everything that is no longer useful or satisfying, satisfying for the taste of the consumer."
"We have turned our society into a huge multicultural showcase tied only to the taste of certain consumers, while so many others have nothing to eat but what falls from their master's table. This causes great harm. It is a great cultural harm."
"I would say that at the root of so many contemporary situations is a kind of impoverishment born of a widespread and radical sense of loneliness. Running after the latest fad, accumulating "friends" on one of the social networks, we get caught up in what contemporary society has to offer. Loneliness with fear of commitment in a limitless effort to feel recognized."
"Should we blame our young people for having grown up in this kind of society? Should we condemn them for living in this kind of a world? Should they hear their pastors saying that 'it was all better back then? the world is falling apart and if things go on this way, who knows where we will end up?' That sounds like an Argentine tango. No, I do not think that this is the way. As shepherds following in the footsteps of the Good Shepherd, we are asked to seek out, to accompany, to lift up, to bind up the wounds of our time. To look at things realistically, with the eyes of one who feels called to action, to pastoral conversion. The world today demands this conversion on our part."
"It is vitally important for the Church today to go forth and preach the Gospel to all: to all places, on all occasions, without hesitation, reluctance or fear. The joy of the Gospel is for all people: no one can be excluded."
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