An event at the Augustinian Patristic Institute to mark the tenth anniversary of the Scholas Occurrentes Foundation, saw Pope Francis addressing a crowd of Latin American and European mayors representing over 50 public administrations from across the globe, along with a number of young people from Scholas itself
The Holy Father touched on a wide range of issues, including some of the most pressing and sensitive concerns of our times including violence, abuse of social networks, care for creation, pornography, education, and inter-generational dialogue between younger and older people. These are critical issues that we all must confront, both inside and outside of the Church.
As reported by Vatican News, Francis encouraged the young people to learn from the wisdom of the elderly. The older ones “should not be keeping their wisdom to themselves.” He continued, “The elderly must speak out and share their wisdom, and for this reason it is vital that the young take the first step and make the first approach.” And then addressing our older brothers and sisters, "Thank you for the testimony, for what you do, for giving us life-enabling sap direct from the roots".
Sticking with this analogy, the Bishop of Rome acknowledged that he always had "this feeling that we must go back to the roots". In this sense, he stated that "a society is spoiled when the connection between the root and the branch is broken. It dries up." And so, "If we don't receive the sap from there, from our own roots, we too dry up."
The Pontifical Augustinian Patristic Institute
Prior General Fr Alejandro Moral, accompanied by Fr Javier Pérez Barba (Assistant General for Southern Europe) and Fr Claudio Zambrano (responsible for organising congresses and events) attended the event, next door to the Curia.
In his opening welcome, the president of the Patristicum, Fr Giuseppe Caruso, added his own personal thanks to the Supreme Pontiff for the recognition and honour given to the university by conferring on it the rank of Pontifical.
Speaking afterwards, at the end of a long and busy day, Fr Claudio noted "Since I have been here, in this service, it is the first time that I have attended an event with the Pope. We had to make a number of adjustments to how we normally operate, in order to ensure the building was secure … doors, elevators, stairs…” The event concluded successfully, so their efforts paid off.