Sunday, February 10, 2013

“Impoverished" future for Church and humanity without youth, says Pope

http://d3.yimg.com/sr/img/1/0e4a7254-c465-3eca-941b-0d69be698b89Young people are "an essential and unavoidable point of reference for the pastoral action" of the Church in the belief that if society and the ecclesial community ignore the problems of youth cultures, such as the "emergency" in education and employment, "it would, for the future of the world and of all humanity, be an impoverishment not only in economic and social terms but also on a human and spiritual level."

The "trust", the "need" and "hope" that the Church has in young people, even in a framework of positives and negatives, were "forcibly" reaffirmed today by Benedict XVI who gave an overview of the condition of young people in his address to the participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Culture, February 6 to 9, on the theme: "Emerging youth cultures."

The Pope pointed to numerous factors in the reality of youth today which are "complex and" in "an increasingly fragmented, cultural landscape in constant and rapid evolution, to which are social media, the new communication tools are no strangers given that they facilitate and sometimes are the very cause of continuous and rapid changes in mentality, customs, behaviour".

"There is thus a climate of instability that touches the cultural, as well as the political and economic spheres - the latter also marked by young people's difficulties in finding a job - mainly effecting people on a psychological and relational level ".

This uncertainty and fragility that characterize so many young people, "often pushes them to the margins, rendering them almost invisible and absent in the cultural and historical processes of societies. And more and more frequently fragility and marginality result in the phenomena of drug addiction, deviance and violence ".

"There are, however, decidedly positive phenomena. The generosity and courage of so many young volunteers who dedicate their best efforts to others in need, the sincere and deep experiences of faith of many young boys and girls who joyfully bear witness to their membership in the Church's efforts to build, in many parts of the world, societies capable of respecting the freedom and dignity of all, beginning with the smallest and weakest".

"We are ultimately faced with an extremely complex but fascinating reality, which must be thoroughly understood and loved with a great spirit of empathy, whose bottom line and developments we must carefully grasp. Looking, for example, at the young people in many countries of the so-called "Third World", we realize that they represent their cultures and their needs, a challenge to the global consumer society, to the culture of established privileges, which benefits a small group of the population of the western world. ".

"Youth cultures, as a result, "emerge" in the sense that exhibit a deep need, a call for help or even a "provocation" that can not be ignored or neglected, both by civil society or the ecclesial community". Because, "if young people no longer had hopes, if they no longer progressed, if they no longer infused historical dynamics with their energy, their vitality, their ability to anticipate the future, we would find a humanity turned in on itself, lacking confidence and a positive outlook towards the future ".

For its part, the Church, the Pope concluded, "has confidence in the youth, she hopes in them and in their energies, she needs them and their vitality, to continue to live the mission entrusted her by Christ with renewed enthusiasm. I very much hope, therefore, that the Year of Faith be, even for the younger generation, a precious opportunity to rediscover and strengthen our friendship with Christ, which brings forth joy and enthusiasm to profoundly transform cultures and society".

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