With the “March for our Lives” rally fresh in the minds of hundreds of thousands of gun control supporters who took to U.S. streets in protest this weekend, the leader of the Catholic Church has called on young people not let themselves be silenced.
Kicking off Holy Week services on Palm Sunday, in the lead up to Easter, 81-year-old Pope Francis addressed the tens of thousands of people who had gathered in St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City, and referenced a number of bible passages including lessons that could be learned from the story of the crucifixion.
“Young people, you have it in you to shout.” Francis said. “It is up to you not to keep quiet. Even if others keep quiet, if we older people and leaders keep quiet, if the whole world keeps quiet and loses its joy, I ask you: Will you cry out?”
His comments came the day after widespread demonstrations took place in response to the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida. He did not directly address the rally but repeatedly called on youthful voices to be listened to. The marches were organised and promoted by teenage survivors of the attack.