Telling adults, 'don't mess with children,' Pope says 'love them more'
Pope Francis has told adults in the world, "don't mess with children."
The Pope was speaking during his traditional Wednesday appearance at St. Peter's Square.
He said that children are never a mistake, and he reproached adults out for building faulty systems that leave children exploited and abandoned, rather than treated as the blessings they are.
"Brothers and sisters, think about this well: you don't mess with children," the Pope told the crowd present for his April 8 general audience.
"Children are never 'a mistake'," said Francis.
"Their hunger is not a mistake, nor is their poverty, their fragility, their abandonment," he said.
Children abandoned in the streets and those lacking in skills or those who do not know what school is and those robbed of their childhood - "none of this is a 'mistake'."
The Pope said, "If anything, these are reasons to love them more, more generously: what are we to make of our solemn declarations of human rights and the rights of the child, if we punish children for the errors of adults?"
Speaking about the difficulties many children are forced into due to societal and familial problems, Pope Francis decried the excuses of many adults for these.
Francis said some people try to "justify themselves," saying that it's a mistake to bring these children into the world due to the poverty, hunger and fragility they suffer.
It "is shameful" for a child to experience these things but said the 79-year-old Argentine pontiff, "let's not offload our sins onto children."
A child, he said, "can never be considered a mistake. The mistake is the world of adults, the system that we have built, which generates pockets of poverty and violence, in which the weakest are hit the hardest."
Francis said, "Every child who begs on the streets, who is denied an education or medical care, is a cry to God.
"May we always care for our children, not counting the cost, so that they may never believe themselves to be mistakes, but always know their infinite worth."