The voice and point of view of young people within the Pontifical Council for Culture
Ten young men and women aged between 17 and 24, believers and non-believers. These are the members of the Youth Council of the Pontifical Council for Culture, created by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi to represent the voice and point of view of young people on major cultural issues of interest to the Dicastery, the Church and contemporary society.
They met for the first time on February 18, 2019, and now the Youth Council is a permanent body, which will offer an active and critical contribution to the activities and projects of the Pontifical Council for Culture, formulating opinions and proposals on themes and initiatives concerning the world of young people. During their first two-year term of office they will also draft a manifesto with their perspectives, proposals, ideas and visions of a generation in the making, with a particular focus on the relationship between young people, faith and modern cultural institutions.
To ensure a multidisciplinary approach to the work and to represent the macro-areas of interest of the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Youth Council is divided into four thematic committees, real working groups on specific issues, namely: Faith and Spirituality, Arts and Music, Digital Culture and Society, Sport. Each committee is composed of five young people and led by a member of the Board of Directors, a body that directs the Consultation Group according to the principle of shared leadership.
The twenty members, selected on the basis of their academic profiles and personal skills, are distinguished by passion, creativity, ambition and commitment in different fields and contexts. A heterogeneous group, with different paths and perspectives, they are united by one thing: the will to give voice to their own generation, in the awareness that concrete commitment, research and active participation are fundamental prerequisites to face future perspectives and challenges.
Among the young members there are students of classical and artistic high school and university students of Law, Economics, Cultural Heritage, Political Science and International Relations, and also Psychology, Medieval History and Palaeography. There is no shortage of scientists, with graduates in Medical Engineering and Environmental Engineering and students of bioethics and biotechnology.
They are sports persons, musicians, lovers of literature or photography; they write on blogs and online newspapers, collaborate with associations and research institutes, volunteer abroad and dream of diplomatic careers, in the world of information, in politics or in business. Some of them were born in Rome and moved to Europe to continue their studies, others come from different regions of Italy and have chosen the capital as the basis for their academic and life.
Pope Francis, in a speech addressed to the Congregation of the Clergy in June 2017, stated that often “young people are judged a little superficial and too easily are labeled as a liquid generation, devoid of passions and ideals.” He then stressed the importance of “recognizing that young people are able to bet firmly on life and to put themselves at stake with generosity; to look to the future and thus be an antidote to resignation and the loss of hope that marks our society; to be creative and imaginative, courageous in changing, magnanimous when it comes to spending themselves for others or for ideals such as solidarity, justice and peace. With all their limitations, they are always a resource.”
And the members of the Youth Council undoubtedly represent those young people who are proactive, courageous, generous and passionate that the Holy Father speaks about.
For more info on who they are see here.