Pope to students: ‘Overcome globalization of indifference with freshness of Gospel’

Pope to students: ‘Overcome globalization of indifference with freshness of Gospel’

Vatican: Pope Francis invited international students on Thursday to overcome the “globalization of indifference” with “the freshness, actuality, and daring of the Gospel.”

He was speaking to participants of the IV World Congress on the Pastoral Care of International Students, organized by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.

The theme of the World Congress takes Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium as its focus, examining its contribution to moral challenges in the intellectual world.

The Holy Father invited the students to approach their studies as a springboard to contributing to a healthier society.

He reminded them of the words of St. Paul to Timothy: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.”

The Pope went on to contrast the search for intellectual self-realization with a model for the good of all.

“To the modern concept of the intellectual,” he said, “working for the realization of self and in search of personal recognition, often without care for their neighbor, it is necessary to counter with a model built on solidarity, which works for the common good and for peace.”

The Holy Father said the experience of studying abroad “increases self-confidence” by expanding a person’s ability to relate with others, allowing one to “open up without fear to the other”.

Turning to teachers and pastoral workers, the Pope invited them to “instill in young people love for the Gospel, the desire to live it concretely and announce it to others”.

He said, “In this way, young people are formed who thirst for truth and not power, ready to defend their values and live mercy and charity, which are the fundamental pillars for a healthier society.”

The Holy Father went on to say the phenomenon of international students, though promoting an encounter between cultures, can bring to the fore some negative aspects, “like the emergence of certain closures, defense mechanisms before diversity, internal walls which do not allow a person to look their brother or sister in the eye and realize their real needs”.

He said a sad reality is the rise of a “globalization of indifference” which makes a person “incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor” (cf. Apos. Exhort. Evangelii Gaudium, 54).

In conclusion, Pope Francis said the experience of being an international student has the potential to “produce positive outcomes” on globalization, “with the freshness of the actuality and daring of the Gospel, in order to form new evangelizers ready to infect the world with the joy of Christ, even unto the ends of the earth.”

-source: Vatican Radio

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