Pope Francis tells ‘drowsy and dull’ children to get off the sofa

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Pope tells young people we didnt come into the world to vegetate … We came to leave a mark

Pope Francis urged drowsy and dull kids to swap their sofas and video games for walking boots on Saturday at an international Catholic youth festival in Poland.

He advised sitting-room furniture devoted the illusion of safety from ache, fear or worries, permitting the sitter to kick back and lose themselves for hours in the latest television reveal or their smartphones.

For many people it is easier and better to have drowsy and dull children who confound happiness with a sofa, he told an estimated one million people gathered at a vigil in a vast plain near Krakw.

Dear young people, we didnt come into the world to vegetate … We came for another reason: to leave a mark, he said.

The times we live in do not call for young couch potatoes but for young person with shoes, or better, boots laced.

Francis, 79, told being constantly glued to screens where the terrible events of the world become simply another story on the evening news numbed youngsters to the agony of others.

He prayed for war-torn Syria, quoting a pilgrim from the towns of Aleppo who had witnessed before the pope and crowds of the fight between life and death in her forgotten city.

Our response to a world at war has a name: fraternity, he said.

The pontiff had said on his arrival in Poland on Wednesday that the world was at war. His visit came a day after the jihadist murder of a priest in France and in the wake of a series of attacks in Europe.

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