La Voz del Pueblo: Isn't it utopian to think that poverty can be eradicated?
Pope Francis: Yes, but utopias lead us forward. It would be sad if a young man or young woman did not have them. There are three things that we must all have in life: memory, ability to see the present, and utopia for the future. Memory cannot be lost. When peoples lose their memory, there is the great drama of neglecting the elderly. An ability of hermeneutics regarding the present, to interpret it, and to know where one should go with this memory, with these roots that I bring, how I consider it in the present, and there is the life of young men and adults. And the future, there is [the life] of the young above all, and that of children. With the memory, with the ability of administration in the present, of discernment and utopia towards the future, there is where the young are involved. That is why the future of a people is made manifest in the care for the elderly, who are the memory, and of children and the young, who will take it forward. We adults have to receive this memory, work it out in the future, and give it to the children. I once read something very beautiful: "The present, the world we have received, is not only a inheritance from the forefathers, but rather a loan that our children grant us so that we could return it improved." If I cut off my roots, and lose my memory, what will happen to me is what happens to every plant, I will die; and if I live only a present without looking ahead to the future, what will happen to me is what happens to every manager who cannot plan. Environmental pollution is a phenomenon of this kind. The three must go together, when one of them is lacking a people starts decline.
La Voz del Pueblo: What are the worst evils that beset the world today?
Pope Francis: Poverty, corruption and human trafficking. I can be wrong with the statistics, but what will you tell me if I ask you: When it comes to spending, what thing in the world comes after food, clothing and medicine? The fourth is cosmetics and the fifth are pets. That is serious. Pet care is like love that is somewhat programmed; that is, I can program the loving response of a dog or a little cat, and I do not need to have the experience of love with human reciprocity. I am exaggerating, so do not take it literally, but it is to make you think.
May 24, 2015