‘Programming for Peace’ is a project that involves experts in new technologies, and will allow millions of young people around the world to “program” with an ethical perspective, committing themselves ever more strongly to the search for peace. The initiative was launched by His Holiness Pope Francis himself, during a visit to the new Rome offices of Scholas Occurrentes. During his visit, His Holiness Pope Francis held a video-conference with young people from around the world, and listened to testimonies from children who had participated in the artistic, sport, and technology programs promoted by Scholas. Taking part in the conference were young people from Panama and Portugal, from Romania, and from Italy.
As reported by Vatican news, During the conversation, His Holiness Pope Francis encouraged everyone to engage in the important, yet at times difficult, work of “networking”, by sharing skills, professionalism, and creativity. Taking up an expression of one of the participants, the Pontiff said. “Scholas is a seed” of peace, fraternity and dialogue. Young people, he said, often do not find good role models, because they look for them outside of their communities. Scholas, on the other hand, awakens young people themselves, and encourages them to follow leaders that arise within their own communities.
“We have seen how in these days young people from different cities of the world have taken to the streets to defend the environment, to defend the earth. The young have an unimaginable power, they are creative”, His Holiness Pope Francis said. The Pontiff insisted on the need to embrace their creativity, and not to “domesticate” them. Young people “are not the future”, he said. “They are the present, the today, the ‘now’ of God. We must correct this expression”.
His Holiness Pope Francis also called on the young people to cultivate dialogue with the elderly. “This is the challenge of today that young people have to face”, he said: “the dialogue with the elderly; because if young people ‘go it alone’, they lose their roots, they lose their sense of history, they lose their sense of belonging.” On the other hand, the Pontiff said, if the old are not able to give these things to the younger generations, “they feel isolated, and die of sadness”.