The other is wealth. No discrimination against anyone, for any reason. Let us be in solidarity with everyone; not only with those who look like me or show an image of success, but also with those who suffer, regardless of their nationality and social status. The Pope’s words to the participants of the European Youth Conference, which will take place from 11 to 13 July in Prague, Czech Republic. Francisco highlights the figure of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire
Raimundo de Lima – Vatican News
Pope Francis sent a message to the participants of the European Youth Conference, which takes place from July 11 to 13 in Prague, Czech Republic, inviting them to transform the “Old Continent” into a “New Continent”, and this is only possible with you, he stressed.
“You young Europeans have an important mission. If your ancestors once ventured to other continents, not always for noble interests, now it is up to you to present a new face of Europe to the world”, is the exhortation of the Pontiff at the beginning of his message. Francisco dedicates much of it to the initiative, launched in September 2019, called Global Educational Pact.
Educating generations for fraternity
“It is an alliance between educators from all over the world with the aim of educating the young generations for fraternity. But, seeing how this world is going, guided by adults and the elderly, it seems that you should rather educate adults to fraternity and peaceful coexistence!” – observes.
Among the first commitments of the Educational Pact, appears that of listening to children, adolescents and young people. Therefore, the Holy Father adds, “dear young people, make your voice heard! If they don’t listen to you, shout even louder, make a noise, you have every right to give your opinion on what concerns your future. I encourage you to be entrepreneurial, creative and critical.”
Paulo Freire: all called to educate ourselves in communion
In this Pact, there are no “senders” and “recipients”, but we are all called to educate ourselves in communion, as suggested by the Brazilian pedagogue Paulo Freire, points out the Pontiff.
Among the various proposals of the Global Educational Pact, the Pope highlights that of “opening oneself to acceptance”, that is, the value of inclusion, also mentioned in the Youth Conference. Francis urges young people not to allow themselves “to be dragged along by shortsighted ideologies that try to show you the other, the diverse as an enemy”.
The Holy Father also emphasizes that the main objective of the Educational Pact is to educate everyone towards a more fraternal life, based not on competitiveness, but on solidarity.
Conflict in Ukraine, an absurd war
The Pope turns his gaze to the conflict in Ukraine: “Dear young people, while you are holding your Conference in Ukraine (which is not the European Union, but Europe), an absurd war is being fought. This, in addition to the numerous conflicts taking place in different regions of the world, makes an Educational Pact even more urgent that instructs everyone towards fraternity”.
Francis adds that the idea of a United Europe grew out of a strong desire for peace, after so many wars fought on the Continent, and led to a period of peace that lasted seventy years. “Now we must all make an effort to put an end to this madness of war, where, as usual, a few powerful people decide and send thousands of young people to fight and die. In cases like this, it is legitimate to rebel!”
Europe is, for all, a land of peace, freedom and dignity
Someone said that if the world were ruled by women, there would not be so many wars, because women who have the mission to give life cannot embrace options of death, the Holy Father said. “In a similar way, I like to think that if the world were ruled by young people, there wouldn’t be so many wars: those who have their whole life before them don’t want to rip it apart and waste it, but live it to the fullest”, he emphasizes.
Before concluding, the Pontiff invites you all to next year’s World Youth Day in Lisbon, “where you can share your most beautiful dreams with young people from all over the world”.
Finally, Pope Francis makes a pressing exhortation to the participants of the Conference: “May you be generative young people, capable of generating new ideas, new visions of the world, of the economy, of politics, of social coexistence; and not only new ideas, but above all new paths to be traveled together. And may you also be generous in generating new lives, always and only for love! Love for your husband and wife, love for your family, love for your children, and also love for Europe in order to be, for all, a land of peace, freedom and dignity”.