Pope warns of "educational emergency"

An educational emergency is pervading much of the world's youth and it required educators who could be credible witnesses to give young people more meaning on which they can build their existence, according to Pope Benedict.

AsiaNews reports the pontiff was addressing a general assembly of Italian bishops when he spoke about the "aggressive relativism" isolating young people and making them face the great life questions alone.

"When in a society and in a culture marked by a pervasive and often aggressive relativism, basic certainties, values and hopes, that give life meaning, seem to falter, parents and teachers can be tempted to give up on their responsibilities; they may even fail to understand what their role and mission are," Pope Benedict told the bishops.

"Despite all the attention they receive and perhaps because they are shielded too much from life's trials and difficulties, children, teenagers and young people end up feeling alone facing the great questions that inevitably rise within them, lonely vis-à-vis the expectations and challenges they feel looming upon their future.

"This educational emergency takes on a very specific form, that of transmitting the faith to the new generations. On such an issue, especially this one, we must negotiate the obstacles placed in our way by relativism, by a culture that puts God in brackets, discouraging all truly committed choices, in particular definitive choices, privileging instead in life's various domains self-affirmation and immediate satisfaction."

The Pope urged his audience not to accept that Christianity is a "private affair" within the realms of a health separation between Church and state. "Viewpoints stemming from our faith can provide instead a fundamental contribution to explaining and solving major social and moral problems," he commented.

He said the Church must "give a more pronounced evangelisation profile to the venues and opportunities to meet and be present that we still have." In addition to parishes, oratories and schools as well as personal relationships, for the Pope great events like this July's World Youth Day in Sydney, are "the communal, public and festive expression of the expectation, love and trust in Christ and the Church that are still rooted in young people’s minds."


We are in an educational emergency and credible witnesses are needed, says Pope (AsiaNews, 29/5/08)


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