Archbishop links Europe youth failure with terror recruitment

A top Vatican official at the United Nations has linked the recruitment of young people by Islamist terror groups with Europe having failed its young.

The Holy See permanent observer at the UN office in Geneva, Archbishop Silvio Tomasi, said Europe needs to ask itself some hard questions.

“Europe should ask itself why it has failed to be able to teach these young people to organise their life in order to build something positive in Europe, instead of wasting their lives through violence and fighting,” the archbishop said.

In recent months, the Islamic State has conducted an online campaign in the Western world.

This has led to the recruitment of many young Canadians, Europeans and Americans to fight for the terrorist group.

Archbishop Tomasi told the Catholic News Agency that the Europe has failed in “injecting a spiritual dimension to motivate young people who are seeking for an idea”.

“As people grow up, they want to change things, they want to fight injustice, and some of these values are not provided, are not concretely realised, then the temptation to look for some other solution becomes very strong,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pope Francis held his first Google Hangout – a live video conversation – across five continents with teenagers who belong to the international network of “Scholas occurentes”, uniting students of all faiths and cultures.

After the “hangout”, the Pope warned that the wisdom of “it takes a village to raise a child” is being lost.

Children are either overprotected by permissive parents or neglected, Pope Francis said.

“The educational partnership has been broken” as families, schools and society are “no longer united together for the child”, he said on September 4.

People have to “rebuild this village in order to educate a child”, he said.

All of society also needs to help children and young people who are homeless, exploited, victims of violence or without any prospects, the Pope added.

The Pope laid the blame on today’s “culture of disposal” and “the cult of money” for creating and perpetuating adults’ apathy to or complicity in the mistreatment of children.

This is why “it’s very important to strengthen bonds: social, family and personal ties” with children and young adults, and create an environment that helps them approach the world with “trust and serenity”.


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