World must dial down aggression, stop bullying, pope tells YouTubers

By Carol Glatz

CITY (CNS) — Help wipe out bullying and aggression by being better listeners and
offering concrete gestures of tolerance and patience, Pope Francis told a group
of top YouTubers from around the world.

level of aggressiveness in our world needs to be dialed down. (The world) needs
tenderness, meekness, (people) listening and walking together,” he told them
and others taking part in a world congress sponsored by Scholas Occurrentes.

arrogance — eradicate them. Because pride and arrogance always have a bad
ending,” he said May 29 at the close of the three-day meeting at the

pope met privately — for an informal closed-door Q-and-A session — with a dozen young
YouTubers, people who create their own videos or vlogs, or video blogs, and share them on
YouTube. The YouTube “celebrities” who were invited to meet the pope
have, when tallied together, about 25 million subscribers.

pope also met privately with U.S. film stars, Richard Gere, Salma Hayek and
George Clooney, who were honored at the congress for working to help
marginalized young people.

pope sat in on the closing portion of the world congress, which was dedicated
to dialogue and social integration. He heard personal testimonies, including from a young woman
who was born in Mexico, moved to Chicago and was the victim of bullying for years.

pope called for an end to “aggression, bullying” when answering one
of two questions from the audience.

is an aggression that conceals profound cruelty, and the world is cruel”
with wars representing “the monuments of cruelty,” he said.

photographs he received from a nun picturing a child massacred in a civil war
unfolding in Africa, Pope
Francis said bullying is the same kind of cruelty because it “massacres”
the mind.

order to build a better world, “we need to eradicate all forms of
cruelty,” he said.

It is
important to listen to others and ask questions — not argue right away — but inquire in order to truly understand the other person’s point of view and find
points in common, he said.

isn’t a soccer match or a debate because “in dialogue everyone
wins, no one loses,” he said. “Even if I think differently, don’t argue, but
rather, persuade softly.”

also important people feel like they belong, which can even include “a
virtual belonging” — being part of something meaningful online, he said.
“It’s urgent to offer some kind of belonging,” he told his audience.

pope also urged participants to work harder at practicing the “language of

we like to talk, talk,” he said, but “we risk paying lip service
and this doesn’t work.”

is not enough and sometimes what is needed is “a smile that gives hope,
looking in someone’s eyes, gestures of approval, patience, tolerance.”

the many new initiatives Scholas organizers announced at the congress, one
included an invitation for young people to ask Pope Francis a question at Selected questions and replies will then be published
in a book in various languages and countries in the autumn.

Occurrentes is a project Pope Francis supported as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina,
and expanded as pope. Through schools it links students from different
neighborhoods, countries, economic backgrounds and faiths to promote
communication, understanding and cooperation.

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