George Clooney, Salma Hayek and Richard Gere Honored by Pope for Contribution to Vatican Education Project; Also Teens Dialogue With Pope, and Francis Will Author Book Answering Their Questions

George Clooney, Salma Hayek and Richard Gere Honored by Pope for Contribution to Vatican Education Project; Also Teens Dialogue With Pope, and Francis Will Author Book Answering Their Questions

The book will be based on his responses to questions posed by youth through a new online platform called ‘Ask Pope Francis.’

[Hat-tip to gpmtrad]

Daniel Ibáñez
by CNA/EWTN NEWS
05/30/2016

VATICAN CITY — After becoming the first Pope to author a children’s book earlier this year, Pope Francis will soon come out with another, based on his responses to questions posed by youth through a new online platform.

Speaking at the May 27-29 World Encounter of the Directors of Scholas Occurrentes, Italian journalist and author Tiziana Lupi explained the idea behind the new book, which she said seeks to “open a door” to dialogue with youth.

Scholas was founded by Pope Francis in August 2013 as an initiative to encourage social integration and the culture of encounter through technology, arts and sports. The foundation has organized several events at the Vatican, including two Google hangout sessions with Pope Francis, as well as 2014’s interreligious Match for Peace.

Both Richard Gere and George Clooney were present for the May 29 meeting between the Pope and participants in the encounter.

Lupi, who works with Italian publisher Mondadori, said May 29 that the publisher has joined efforts with Scholas in creating a new technological platform “which allows all youth from all over the world, all social classes, all religious to ask Pope Francis a question without filters.”

While it’s generally journalists who ask the questions, this time it will be the youth who open their hearts to the Pope through the new webpage “Ask Pope Francis,” which is already up and running.

Since there will obviously be too many questions to include all of them in the book, only certain questions will be selected.

“We’ll select the ones that seem more from the heart and which allow Pope Francis to touch on topics he hasn’t been able to until today,” Lupi said, adding that the book will likely be released sometime in October or November.

The Language of Gestures

Pope Francis met with participants in the gathering May 29, which also marked the presentation of the platform the new book project, called “Chiedete” in Italian. In addition to the announcement of the new book, several other projects and initiatives were presented to the Pope.

After hearing the tearful testimony of a teen girl from Mexico who was bullied after coming to the United States following her parents’ separation, the Pope was told that a new anti-bullying campaign was being launched by Scholas with the hashtag “#nosotrossomosunicos,” meaning “#weareunique.”

Following the girl’s testimony, 12 young, influential YouTube users from around the world asked the Pope how to build a better, more diverse and integrated world.
In his response, Francis said that each person must be recognized for their own personal identity, explaining that “there is no future” if a person lacks a clear identity.
He spoke of the importance of the “language of gestures” in making someone feel included. These gestures, he said, can be “pat, a smile, a smile that gives hope, looking into one’s eyes. Gestures of approval or patience, tolerance.”

If bullying is ever going to stop, we must leave aggressions behind, he said, adding that “bullying is an aggression that hides a profound cruelty.”

“The world is cruel. Wars are monuments of cruelty,” he said, and pulled out from his pocket graphic pictures sent to him by a nun living in an African country torn apart by civil war.

Showing the pictures to the participants, Francis lamented how they depicted grotesque images such as a child with their throat cut and another “butchered in the head.”

“If this happens, how will bullying not? It’s the same cruelty,” he said, explaining that if we want to build a better world, we must first eliminate “all forms of cruelty. War is a form of cruelty.”

Instead of aggression, we must gain the ability to listen to one another and to dialogue, rather than argue, he said, telling attendees “don’t be afraid of dialogue,” because with dialogue “everyone wins, no one loses.”

Pope Francis also stressed the importance of leaving one’s pride and superiority behind, because these attitudes “always end badly.”

The world today “needs to lower the level of aggression, it needs tenderness, it needs to listen, it needs to walk together,” he said, and, pointing to the photos, said added that “this is happening today because all these attitudes are lacking.”
Francis was then presented with several other initiatives before receiving a signed copy of all the commitments made by participants during the three-day gathering.

Soccer Match for Peace

Mention of the second interreligious Match for Peace, to be played June 10 in Rome’s Olympic Stadium and which draws together major soccer stars from around the world, was also mentioned.

The Pope closed the gathering by offering his gratitude to participants for their prayers and work, and praying for youth around the world.

Addendum from Vatican Radio: During the meeting Pope Francis also autographed surfboards.

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3 comments on “George Clooney, Salma Hayek and Richard Gere Honored by Pope for Contribution to Vatican Education Project; Also Teens Dialogue With Pope, and Francis Will Author Book Answering Their Questions

  1. Okay, that’s it.

    Time for the nice young men in their nice white coats to intervene.

    Chris Ferrara is fluent in Italian. Perhaps he can work with some lawyer friends in Rome to help arrange for involuntary institutional commitment?

  2. [“Surf’s up!” More on Pope Francis as Kanaka He’e Nalu Nui (The Great Surfer)]

    Pope Francis, the coolest surfer of the Catholic Church

    30 May 2016 | SurferToday

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    Pope Francis: he is ready to hit the surf

    Pope Francis is officially a surfer. Two surf activists have offered a surfboard to the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, in an event held in the Vatican Synod Hall.

    Sean Brody and Daniel Hopkins, global surf travelers and founders of the Kwepunha Surf Retreat, were invited to speak at the end of the World Congress of Pontifical Foundation Scholas Occurrentes Pontifical.

    Pope Francis was the main invitee, so Brody and Hopkins decided to gift him with a brand new surfboard. The white and light-blue plank has the Scholas Occurrentes logo.

    “Surfing is one of the most amazing bridges for coastal communities around the world. I have to thank you. Ebola was an incredibly challenging time for us and for Liberia, and your promotion of not falling into fear, and choosing to love over fear is something that really resonates with the sport of surfing because once the epidemic ended, surfers were the first people to travel back there as tourists,” Daniel Hopkins told Pope Francis.

    “In Liberia, we’ve been able to keep the kids out of trouble, keeping them in school, and used the sport of surfing as one big family. In the surfing world, we have a sign for peace [Shaka Sign]. There are two types of people in the world: people who surf, and people who want to surf. And we would like to invite everyone to join us, to join our tribe and family,” added Sean Brody.

    Initially, Pope Francis thought the surfboard was not for him, but after exchanging a few words with the activists, he smiled and grabbed the surf craft. Jorge Bergoglio is now certainly the coolest Bishop of Rome of all time. Francis would go.

  3. The world today “needs to lower the level of aggression, it needs tenderness, it needs to listen, it needs to walk together,” he said, and, pointing to the photos …



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