Vatican City, Mar 5, 2020 / 16:18 pm
Pope Francis is asking youth to wake up from the deadening static of staring at a cell phone to encounter Christ in their neighbor.
“Today, we are often ‘connected’ but not communicating. The indiscriminate use of electronic devices can keep us constantly glued to the screen,” Pope Francis said in his message to young people published March 5.
“When I look at things, do I look carefully, or is it more like when I quickly scroll through the thousands of photos or social profiles on my cell phone?” Francis asked.
The pope warned that he sees a “growing digital narcissism” among young people and adults alike.
“How often do we end up being eyewitnesses of events without ever experiencing them in real time! Sometimes our first reaction is to take a picture with our cell phone, without even bothering to look into the eyes of the persons involved,” Francis said.
Pope Francis encouraged young people to “wake up.” He said that if someone realizes that he is “dead inside,” he can trust that Christ can give them new life to “arise,” as he did with the young man in Luke 7:14.
“When we are ‘dead,’ we remain closed in on ourselves. Our relationships break up, or become superficial, false and hypocritical. When Jesus restores us to life, he ‘gives’ us to others,” he said.
The pope called upon young people to bring about “cultural change” that will allow those “isolated and withdrawn into virtual worlds” to arise.