“Scholas Occurrentes”: Pope Launches Challenge of “Human” Globalization

Inauguration of the Roman Headquarters of the Network of Educational Institutes

Pope Francis has launched the challenge to humanize globalization, in a live streaming video connection with young people of the “Scholas Occurrentes” network of educational institutes.

At 5 p.m. on June 9, the Pontiff was connected with young people of nine countries around the world: Italy, Colombia, Haiti, Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Spain and the United Arab Emirates of “Scholas Citizenry,” a branch of the large “Scholas Occurrentes” network,” for a video-conference on the theme ”Everything in this World has Meaning, Even this pebble . . .”

The occasion was the inauguration of the Roman headquarters of Scholas Occurrentes in San Calisto Square, property of the Holy See in the Trastevere neighorhood.

After listening to the young people, the Pontiff took the floor. “Your witness does good,” he said, then adding jokingly that “air conditioning would do good here” too.

In particular, Pope Francis stressed the meaning and significance of everything, of every person in the world, showing young people, in fact, a grey pebble, an allusion to the event’s title. Then Francis proposed the challenge to implement a “human” globalization, in which each one “shares” with others the “meaning” of which he is bearer.

In order to humanize globalization, it is necessary to “include,” to give a hand, “to embrace,” instead of excluding, said the Pope, who added that it is necessary to reject “elitism,” because it is a “closed” and “egoistic group.” This behavior makes one incapable of thinking, feeling and working with another, warned the Pontiff, who described this attitude as a “temptation of today’s world.”

The danger of this elitism is that ends by choosing only those “who can pay for education,” but this is not “true education,” said the Holy Father, who used the neologism “elitizzare.” 

The challenge proposed to the “Scholas” young people, therefore, is to “share with others the characteristics of every pebble,” and this is done “humanly, not as animals,” namely, by “dialoguing, not assailing.”

While he put young people on guard against an increasingly “elitist” society, ever less “participatory,” He exhorted not to “let themselves to be excluded.”

Every one of us has meaning, he stressed, showing the pebble again. Therefore, each one must discover “his meaning, to be able to share it,” said the Pope. “If one doesn’t share, one ends up in a museum: none of you wants to end up in a museum,” he exclaimed smiling.

The Pontiff warned of a second danger, namely, of conceiving globalization as “uniformization,” which cancels each one’s characteristics: “if you’re not in the system you don’t exist.”

Taking part among others in the meeting were the international president of “Scholas,” Jose Maria Del Corral, and the organization’s secretary, Enrique Palmeyro, in addition to the Italian Minister of Education, Valeria Fedeli, as well as the Director General of AS Rome, Mauro Baldissoni, accompanied by soccer player Alessandro Florenzi, and Paolo Picchio, father of Carolina, a young victim of cyber-bullying.

A press release recalled that “Scholas,” which at present is the largest student movement worldwide, started 20 years ago in Argentina, when Jorge Mario Bergoglio was Archbishop of Buenos Aires.

The initiative was then “re-founded” by Pope Francis himself within the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 2013, dedicated to children and youngsters in difficulties and promoting educational strategies through sport, art and technology.

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