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Young people need truth

· Benedict XVI during the presentation of the Letters accrediting nine ambassadors to the Holy See ·

The hope expressed that the Church can continue to take care of the education of the new generations

It is once again the educational emergency that worries the Pope. He therefore placed it among the main challenges we must face in our epoch. Moreover this morning, Thursday, 13 December, in receiving six new, non-resident, ambassadors to the Holy See on the occasion of the presentation of their Letters of Credence, he renewed his fervent appeal to government authorities for a greater commitment to “contributing courageously to the progress of our humanity, encouraging the education of the new generations!”. The diplomats whom he had before him in the Clementine Hall were representatives of the Republic of Guinea, of St Vincent and the Grenadines, of Niger, of Zambia, of Thailand and of Sri Lanka.

Benedict XVI, after stressing what in today's society hinders the dissemination of a correct education of the new generations – not the least the erroneous conception that the human being is a collection of elements that can be isolated and manipulated at will – recalled the responsibility of schools and universities. These fundamental institutions nevertheless seem incapable of proposing creative projects that contain the transcendent principles needed to attract the young in the deep recesses of their being at a time when, anxious about their future, they are tempted by deleterious attitudes such as seeking what requires the least effort, the minimum sufficient and instant success, disregarding the training, skills or experience necessary.

What is needed most today, the Pope explained, is to strengthen what Leo XIII wrote previously in Rerum Novarum : “the true worth and nobility of man lie in his moral qualities, that is, in virtue; that virtue is, moreover, the common inheritance of men, equally within the reach of high and low, rich and poor”. “Young people, Benedict XVI added, “need truth”. Today, on the contrary, there is a tendency to live without truth and promoting it seems to have become a wasted effort. The Church's very mission is to defend and spread the truth. For this reason the Pope has asked government leaders “to continue to permit the Church freely to attend to the education of young people for the common good.

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