Benedict XVI Meets With 6 New Ambassadors to the Holy See

Emphasizes the Important Role of Education for Today's Youth

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 13, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI received in audience today six new ambassadors and non-resident ambassadors to the Holy See today. 

The Holy Father spoke on the importance of education, referring to it as one of the principal challenges of our time. Education, he said, is located "in a context in which the evolution of ways of life and forms of knowledge create human, cultural, social and spiritual ruptures hitherto unknown in the history of humanity."

The new ambassadors are Bizwayo Newton Nkunika of Zambia, Chalermpol Thanchitt of Thailand, Ravinatha Pandukabhaya Aryasinha of Sri Lanka, Wafic Rida Said of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Aminatou Batoure Gaoh of Niger and Ibrahima Sory Sow of Guinea.

Pope Benedict also spoke regarding social networks, which "tend to substitute natural social and communicative spaces, often becoming the only point of reference for information and knowledge." Saying that neither family or schools appear as a primary or natural ground where "younger generations receive the lifeblood of their existence," the Holy Father emphasized the needs for adults, schools and universities to engage today's youth.

"Schools and universities seem to have become incapable of creative projects leading to a transcendental teleology able to attract young people in the very depths of their being," the Pope said. "Today's world and its responsible adults are not able to provide them with the necessary points of reference."

The 85-year-old Pontiff invited the countries represented by the ambassadors to contribute to the education of the new generation by promoting a healthy anthropology, saying that it is "the essential basis for all true education, and consonant with our common natural heritage.

This task, he said, "must take as its starting point a sober review of the various problems that exist within your respective countries, where certain political and economic policies may risk a gradual erosion of your anthropological and spiritual heritages, which have been refined through the centuries and patiently constructed on foundations that respect the essence of the human person in all its variety and in perfect harmony with the cosmos."

"I again urge your governments to have the courage to strengthen and consolidate the moral authority - the call to a coherent way of life - necessary for a genuine and healthy education for the younger generations."

Concluding his address, Pope Benedict XVI greeted, through the ambassadors, the Catholic communities in the countries they represent, highlighting the crucial role that the Church plays in the advancement of their countries, particularly in the area of education of children and young people.

"I therefore encourage your governments to continue to allow the Church to operate freely in her traditional fields of activity where, as you know, she makes an important contribution to the development of your countries and to the common good," the Pope said.