Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations, has expressed his thoughts about Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Portugal, where he is attending World Youth Day 2023.
In an interview with Vatican News, Liverpool-based Archbishop Gallagher said that it is “wonderful for us to be here, and it is wonderful that so many young people have made the trip to Lisbon from all over the world.”
Around 354,000 pilgrims from over 143 countries are attending the event in the capital city of Portugal, with most delegates from Spain, Italy, Portugal, France and the United States.
Seeing the multitude of youth, the Archbishop noted that WYD “fills us with great hope for the future. And this meeting with the Holy Father will be an encouragement for everybody.”
Archbishop Gallagher pointed out, “In a moment where the world is going through many difficulties, we desperately need a message of hope for the future, and I think that is what we’re all going to take away from Lisbon.”
Asked what his hopes are for the future, the Archbishop said, “I think our hope for the future as a Church, is renewed commitment to our faith, to living the Gospel and to giving a witness to the world.”
This year’s WYD Motto, “Mary arose and went with haste” (Lk 1:39), chosen by Pope Francis, encourages youth from all over the world to “arise” and be missionaries of the Church.
Archbishop Gallagher highlighted the importance of young people bearing witness to their Christian faith.
“There is nobody to give better witness than young people, because they come with fresh eyes,” he said.
In conclusion, Archbishop Gallagher entrusted the future of the Church to young people.
“I think that they can sort out some of the mess that we, their elders, have created for them.”