What is happening? This was the question that young people of the National Congress of Schools for Peace asked Pope Francis, during the meeting held on Saturday in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall. It was a real dialogue between the Pope and youths asking the questions. He answered them, by name, one by one.
The Holy Father reminded them that programs have more “audience” if there is violence, as if there is taste for this.
However, there are also many good people in the world who are not seen, who give their life for others, although they don’t make news. And the Pontiff spoke of a nun he met in Africa who dedicated her life to the service of others. “There are good people, but the world is at war: say it,” he insisted, adding that he was ashamed of “the name of a bomb: ‘mother of all bombs.’ A mother gives life but this one gives death. And we call that device mother? What is happening?”
Responding to the second question, he asked: Why is it so difficult to learn to love? Then he asked a youth a question, who answered the evil “is money and power.” And the Holy Father stressed “the god money.”
The Successor of Peter pointed out lamented statistics about trafficking of arms, drugs, exploitation of people, especially regarding child laborers, whom he recalled, some of whom, start to work at age seven. The exploitation of workers, not only in remote countries but also in Europe and Italy, when they are paid with money not declared for taxes or work without a contract. “This is called destruction; we, Catholics, call it moral sin,” he said, mentioning “women who are sold to be exploited.”
Answering another youth, he said that it is necessary “to avoid the terrorism of words, for instance, when there is a traffic mishap, a “litany of insults” comes out,” adding that “to insult is to wound someone.”
The Holy Father invited then to have a “meek attitude,” which does not mean “to be stupid, but to say things without wounding.” It is one of the virtues we must learn again, because “education doesn’t educate to this virtue of meekness,” and this is the case because the education pact between the family and the school is broken.
Pope Francis told them how, when he was a child, he said something incorrect to a teacher and they called his Mother to come to the school. His mother asked him to apologize to the teacher, and that was fine until he got home . . .Today the opposite happens. When a teacher fails a pupil, the parents go to complain. And “a young person grows up badly,” because “there must be a pact” between the “school, family and State.”
Moreover, the Successor of Peter invited the young people present “to listen to others.” He referred to a TV pre-electoral dialogue in which a candidate stoned the others.” If at such a level one cannot dialogue, the challenge is very high,” he said. It is easier to insult, but there must be education to dialogue ”with meekness and respect,” he stressed.
In regard to destruction of the environment to be able to win, the Holy Father pointed out chemical experiences that ruin health And, he wondered, “Where do these strange sicknesses come from? “Not only are we soiling Creation, we are destroying Creation.” Suffice it to point out that many pediatricians “advise to avoid giving children chicken from chicken farms because of the hormones they have.”
“To resign oneself is a forbidden word: never, never be resigned.” Instead, “use creativity,” exhorted the Pope. And responding to governments, which seem not to want to change anything, he recalled a famous Italian singer: ”The great Mina: parole, parole, parole” (words, words, words).