Pope Francis Lauds Taize Youth for Tackling Problems Head-On

Message to Annual European Meeting of Taizé Community

Tackling Problems Head-On
Brother Alois leading meditation - Taize photo

Pope Francis today lauded the Taize youth of Europe for tackling problems head-on.

The Pope’s words came in a message signed by Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin to the annual European Meeting of the Taizé Community. The meeting is taking place in a mixed two-phase format, due to the COVID-19 pandemic: from December 28, 2021, to January 1, 2022, it is happening online, while the in-person event is scheduled to take place in the Italian city of Turin from July 7 to 10, 2022.

“Your meeting is taking place at a time of great concern. Many people are asking themselves: does our planet have a future?” the Pope said. “What responsibilities do we have to assume in order to safeguard it and make the earth habitable?

“Instead of giving in to defeatism and avoiding these questions, you have decided to tackle them head-on, to search together, to pray, to listen to the word of God, and let it shed light on the most complex human situations…You have chosen not to look away from human suffering and the pressing emergencies of the moment, but instead to look at these realities in the confidence that it is given to you to participate in the solutions.”

This was the second delay for the European Taize event. The ecumenical event gathering thousands of young adults between 16 and 35 from all over Europe for a “Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth”, is traditionally held at the end of each year in a European city. This 43rd edition was originally scheduled in Turin in 2020 but was postponed for 12 months because of the pandemic.

However, the latest wave caused by the contagious Omicron variant of the virus forced organizers to reschedule the in-person meeting to July next year, when participants are expected to stay with families and in parishes of the Archdiocese.

Here is the full message send on behalf of the Holy Father:

Dear friends,

The pandemic is preventing you, once again, from gathering together at the end of the year for the 44th European youth meeting held by the Taizé community, as planned. You will have to wait until July to go to Turin to live this moment of fraternity with joy. The Holy Father is praying with this intention, but now he is united in thought and prayer with all of you present online, and he sends you his warmest greetings.

Your meeting is taking place at a time of great concern. Many people are asking themselves: does our planet have a future? What responsibilities do we have to assume in order to safeguard it and make the earth habitable? At a time of increasing polarization, how can we, in accordance with your theme for the coming year, “become artisans of unity”?

Instead of giving in to defeatism and avoiding these questions, you have decided to tackle them head-on, to search together, to pray, to listen to the word of God, and let it shed light on the most complex human situations. It is not for nothing that the book of acts states that on the day of Pentecost the disciples “were all together” (2:1). It is when we are together that the spirit of God breathes in a special way. With the current synod, the catholic church is also seeking to make herself more available to the work of the spirit by inviting Christ’s disciples to discover how much we need each other.

You have chosen not to look away from human suffering and the pressing emergencies of the moment, but instead to look at these realities in the confidence that it is given to you to participate in the solutions. For if there is no lack of anxiety, it is no less true that the spirit of God never ceases to work and to give rise to creators of fraternity, solidarity, and unity. By opening yourself to the presence of the risen Christ, by letting him unify your hearts, you are preparing to be among them.

The Holy Father asks the holy spirit to bless you, the young Catholics, orthodox and protestants, who are joining the European meeting in thought and prayer, and he entrusts you to the protection of the Virgin Mary. May you continue to be pilgrims of trust wherever the Lord sends you!

Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State

© Libreria Editrice Vatican