Lombardi Editorial: Youth in the cultural “multi-verse”

2013-02-09 Vatican Radio

How does one understand young people and the way in which they feel, think, and express themselves? This is difficult because the horizon is fragmented and in a state of rapid evolution due to the constant changes in mentality, in style, and in behaviour. This is so much the case that the Pope speaks about a “multi-verse” characterized by a plurality of viewpoints and perspectives, as opposed to the culturally consistent “uni-verse.” If the situation is difficult, it therefore calls urgently for reflection on youth culture, as the Pontifical Council for Culture seeks to do. The main effort is to be in the direction of “intercepting” their questions; there is a profound need for giving comprehensible and relevant answers, using a language and an approach that have the capacity to reach the hearts and minds of young people where they are. The questions are there, in the ever-changing digital world, through pop or rock music: often, however, they do not hear our answers. Mere reflection, therefore, does not suffice: as Pope Benedict said, we must be with them, be supportive and involved in their lives. We must be caring toward them and trusting of them. Without mutual trust there will never be common dialogue with them: one neither shares nor transmits the faith that tomorrow will either belong to them, or it will not come at all. There have always appeared in the Church wonderful teachers, true friends of young people, and there are many young people who desire to devote their extraordinary energies to the pursuit of great ideals. We cannot abandon them. We must walk with them, together searching for the meaning of our lives.