Spanish Bishop: We’re Creating ‘Monsters’ if Youth Don’t Grow Up to be Loving and Generous
The bishop spoke during solemn vespers in honor of the patroness of Vitoria, Our Lady of the Snows.
Bishop Juan Carlos Elizalde of Vitoria, Spain, warned that some young people are “at risk” for self-centeredness because of the way they’re being raised and educated.
“We’re creating monsters if, in loving our young people, we don’t succeed in getting them to love, help, and reciprocate generously,” the bishop said in his Aug. 4 address during solemn vespers in honor of the patroness of Vitoria, Our Lady of the Snows (the White Virgin), on the occasion marking the 200th anniversary of the city formally naming her as its patroness.
Bishop Elizalde stressed that taking that approach with youth means that we’re not “truly loving them.” Quite the contrary, “we will be depriving them of their roots.”
“We are doing something wrong when we’re not conveying hope, nor can we stop youth suicide, addictions, or violence,” the prelate emphasized.
In contrast, the bishop said that the festivities in honor of the city’s patroness “reinvigorate the desire to live” and consequently to stand up for “life from the moment of conception until its natural end,” as well as for “the men and women who in their adulthood bear the weight of society” and for the elderly “mistreated, isolated, and weakened by so much pandemic.”
Bishop Elizalde said that the contribution of the Church to the city of Vitoria is the “irrepressible joy” of feeling you are a child of God because “when contemplating the White Virgin, where are you? In her arms.”
That joy is also “tremendous strength in difficulties,” “profound consolation” when there is sorrow, “high spirits when there is meaning, a life project and a future,” and “serene peace charged with hope” when one’s own strength fails.