Pope Francis had lunch this Saturday in Panama with five boys and girls representing the continents and with them he could address the issue of abuse by the clergy and notes that "young people are suffering for it."
This was revealed by the Mexican, but settled in the United States, Brenda Noriega, who spoke with Francisco about this issue that worries the country's young people, where the latest reports and investigations have revealed chilling data about abuses by religious and how they were covered for decades.
Francisco had not yet spoken about the abuses during this visit to Panama, where he arrived on Wednesday to participate in the World Youth Day (WYD).
"The Pope told us that this was a horrible crime and that the Church cannot tolerate that kind of crime," explained Noriega, who was born and raised in Mexico and now lives in San Bernardino, California.
The Pope told them "what needs to be done in the United States is to pray for it" and "the support (of the victims)" is also important.
He mentioned that before this scandal, the country's bishops had been to a spiritual retreat to pray some weeks before.
Noriega explained that she asked the Pope what she can do in her role as youth minister because "some begin to lose faith not in God but in the Church structure."
Francis told her that "the young people are suffering" and "the victims are suffering," and what they have to do is accompany them and "pray for them and for the bishops."
This young woman highlighted, especially, the Hispanic community importance for the Catholic Church in the United States because "the American Catholic new face is my own, that of a Hispanic woman."
At lunch, they also spoke of the Christian's problems in the Holy Land, as a young Palestinian was present, Dana Salah, the Spanish Miguel Angel Croche; the Australian Dennis Montano Galdamez, Angelina Nayire from Burkina Faso, Badwin Taitus from India and Ermilda Santo Montezuma representing the natives of Panama also attended the meeting.
Since Pope Francis stepped on the Panamanian soil, "we have all been very pleased and grateful, above all, for what is happening at the World Youth Day (WYD)," said Bishop Manuel Ochogavia Barahona, Episcopal Conference of Panama's secretary.
The Diocese of Colon-Guna Yala Bishop also said that when it was announced three years ago that the WYD would be held in Panama, they became very nervous, but they were sure that the pilgrims would respond to the convocation that, today, gathers tens of thousands of them in the Central American country.
The Pope Francis' visit has shocked the capital of Panama, to such an extent that thousands of devotees and onlookers congregate in places and routes the Holy Father appears since he arrived Last Wednesday.
Ochogavia stressed that Francis has expressed to the ecclesiastical and private authorities the warm reception he has received and that he has bee amazed by the organization of this youth religious meeting.
On the other hand, the Panamanian bishop said that this day leaves an immense number of young people who "grow and walk," and that the Catholic Church representatives will open the doors to them so they can be the source of change that we need.
The message of Pope Francis at WYD in Panama has been one of renovation and leaving aside the culture of indifference and "discard" that generates so much pain and indifference in the face of situations that deeply mark our realities as societies said Ochogavia.
"I believe in the hope of our young ... that they can be actors of a change and generate those processes to help us recover peace, for progress in equity and justice," the monseigneur told journalists in the celebration of WYD framework.