VATICAN CITY — As young people become more concerned with quick professional success and rely on social networks as a replacement for community, Pope Benedict XVI said that families and governments must work for the authentic education of students.
In a Dec. 13 address in the Vatican’s Clementine Hall to new ambassadors from Guinea, Niger, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Zambia, the Pope turned the diplomats’ attention to the “unprecedented” rifts in society that need to be addressed.
“Family and school no longer seem to be the first and natural fertile ground where younger generations can receive the lifeblood of their existence,” Pope Benedict said.
The Pope asserted that the “natural areas of society and communications” have been replaced by the “novelty” of social networking.
At the same time, he observed that many young people seem to be increasingly concerned with speedy economic success without paying attention to the “required skills, training and experience” needed to achieve such goals.
Modern technology has contributed to this dilemma, the Pope noted, saying that it makes the temptation to achieve success while “making the minimal effort” even greater than before.
Pope Benedict urged parents, educators and governments to respond to this situation by striving for a more balanced education of students, one that encourages “effort and perseverance through difficulties.”
He called the “education in correct values” a “right” that should “never be forgotten or denied” due to politics.
The Pope also asked the ambassadors to urge their leaders to courageously “work on the consolidation of moral authority” that is “necessary for a true and healthy upbringing of the younger generation.”
Such formation requires “the promotion of a sound anthropology, which is an indispensable basis for any genuine education, and consistent with the common natural heritage.”
The Holy Father noted that today many people ask the same question that Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?”
“Nowadays telling the truth makes you suspect, wanting to live the truth seems outdated, and promotion of the truth futile,” the Pope remarked.
Nonetheless, he said, “the future of humanity” rests in “the relationship of children and young people with truth.”