Pope Francis participated in a Google Hangout on Friday with youth from around the world, emphasizing that “everyone has meaning,” even though the world will try to exclude certain people.
Combatting a world which promotes elitism and exclusion, the Pope said June 9, “you have a meaning, everyone … has meaning, you have a meaning, it is in your hands to discover the meaning I have in life, what I am like, with the potentiality that you can … and how to give this meaning to others.”
The hangout, Pope Francis’ third time for the meeting, was organized for the inauguration of a new Vatican office of the Scholas Occurentes, a world-wide initiative in schools to encourage social integration and the culture of encounter through technology, arts, and sports.
Society “is accustomed to exclude, to select, to attack, to shut out people,” he lamented.
However, he said Scholas isn’t like the world, but instead it will “include, shake hands, give a hug, [refrain from] attack, and recognize that no one is a ‘no’… everyone is a ‘yes,’ a ‘yes’ for them and a ‘yes’ for others. To include, a ‘yes’ to give.”
The video chat included youth from the countries of Italy, Colombia, Haiti, Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates. Each group took turns giving a short presentation on the impact of their local “Scholas Ciaudadania” group.
The Pope listened intently to each one before making his comments in Spanish.
“This work that you’re doing, of encountering one another, dialoguing … is an example for us grownups,” he said.
Scholas was started by Pope Francis when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires. In 2013 it was approved as an ecclesiastical institute by the Holy See.
With just a few youth involved at its beginning, the foundation now consists of a worldwide network of over 400,000 state and religious schools, which are organized by Argentine school headmasters Enrique Palmeyro and José María del Corral.