At the Centro Cultural de Belém, in Lisbon, alongside the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and with the Prime Minister, António Costa, and other ministers of his Government in attendance, the head of State of the Vatican considered that life human life is placed “at risk by utilitarian drifts that use and discard it”.

“In today's evolved world, paradoxically, it has become a priority to defend human life, which is put at risk by utilitarian drifts that use and discard it,” Francis said.

Earlier, he referred to the ocean, always present in his speech in Italian, saying that it “recalls the origins of life”.

“I think of so many unborn children and elderly people abandoned to themselves, of the difficulty of welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating those who come from far away and knock at our doors, of the helplessness in which many families are left with difficulty in bringing into the world children”, Francis continued.

In this regard, he said that he feels like asking where Europe and the West are sailing, “with the disposal of the elderly, the walls of barbed wire, the deaths at sea and the empty cradles”.

“Where are you going if, faced with the torment of living, you limit yourself to offering quick and wrong remedies such as easy access to death, a comfortable solution that seems sweet, but in reality is more bitter than the waters of the sea?”

The Pope considered, however, that “Lisbon, embraced by the ocean”, offers reasons for hope, thanking the “great work and generous commitment undertaken by Portugal” to host WYD, “an event so complex to manage, but full of hope”, because, as they say in Portugal, “alongside the young, one does not grow old”.

“Young people from all over the world who yearn for unity, peace and fraternity challenge us to make their dreams come true. They are not walking the streets screaming their anger, but sharing the hope of the Gospel", Francis stressed, noting that, "if, in many places, there is today an atmosphere of protest and dissatisfaction, fertile ground for populism and conspiracies", WYD is an occasion for joint construction.

Still with regard to euthanasia, the head of the Catholic Church had already criticized the approval of medically assisted death, considering that the Portuguese parliament enacted a law to kill.

“Today I am very sad because in the country where Our Lady appeared, a law was enacted to kill. One more step in the long list of countries that have approved euthanasia”, said the Pope, in the Vatican, on May 13th.