Speech by Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti – Milan, 2017

It is absolutely dramatic that, in the contemporary world, young people represent the category of the population most affected by inequalities“. It is in these terms that Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, President of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), opened the International Conference of the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU), which took place from 16 to 18 October 2017 at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan on the theme “Youth and Inequality”.

In Italy, data on youth unemployment, especially in the South, continue to be of great concern and require concrete and effective responses in the immediate future and not in the indefinite future“. Bassetti sees in the Synod of Bishops of October 2018 on “Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment”, “a unique opportunity to shed light in a concrete and realistic way on the lives of new generations without making short cuts or falling into moralization “.

Here are three points of reflection raised by the President of the CEI. First, the “mission” consists, for universities, in “producing and transmitting knowledge from generation to generation” and, for Catholics, such as Agostino Gemelli, “to train the Catholic ruling class for the country and for the Italian Church”. Cardinal Bassetti urges universities to stand at the forefront of religion by overcoming habits, routines, security, and “rediscovering their mission by putting everything at stake, without fear and with courage”.