WYD Lisbon 2023

A Manifesto of the youth participating in the 4th International Congress on the Care for Creation – WYD 2023

Presented to Pope Francis with appeals and commitments for a new humanity


Tomas Virtuoso, former member of the IYAB-International Youth Advisory Board of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, delivered the Manifesto that was the result of the working group that took place during the 4th International Congress on the Care of Creation on the theme "Lifestyles for a New Humanity", to Pope Francis in the course of his presentation made during the Holy Father's meeting with young university students this morning, still at the Universidade Catolica Portuguesa. "The planetary dimensions of the ecological crisis are such that they require the contribution of everyone in the search for effective and lasting solutions”, which is why the more than 400 young people gathered at the Congress on July 31 wrote the Manifesto. It is the result of their working group and discussion.


5 lifestyles to learn how to love Creation

“Our working groups”, the young people write, “examined five areas. We listened to each other and we tried to re-examine our lifestyles in those areas which were: education and family life, natural resources, politics, economics and technology. We focused on both practical actions and general principles, being determined to face reality and complexity while getting rid of ideologies. We considered the important role of the family and education in shaping lifestyles. We realized that what people learn at home and school has a profound effect on society as a whole. We look forward to forging strong relationships in order to build bonds and communities between people from different backgrounds and cultures. World Youth Days are an excellent opportunity to practice this universal friendship”.



In the Manifesto, published by the Holy See's Press Office in five languages, the young people of Lisbon make a commitment: "To renew our personal ecological conversion and make room for the Holy Spirit to enlighten our reflection, discern, and inspire the steps to be taken. We are certain that we are loved and that this life and world are a gift to be taken care of. Through prayer we can maintain a meaningful and life-giving connection to God in order to purify our lifestyles. To act with a sense of urgency like Mary. We also want to stand up with determination, to start new processes without procrastinating, and to avoid superficial and hasty behavior. To be responsible in our consumption. We want to be moderate in the way we consume while being mindful about what we really need, the wellbeing of others and the sustainability of our common home: we prefer sharing and reusing goods. This includes our transport, our purchases, our leisure activities, and the way we eventually invest our money. To proclaim the good news to everyone about the care of creation. We want to be a missionary and joyful outgoing Church and to be heralds of good news about our care for creation. We want to popularize best practices and make them viral so that they reach every young person. To collaborate and establish far-reaching synergy with all people of goodwill who share our concern to take care of our common home together. This encompasses the various forms of political engagement. We want to make sure that the voice of everyone is heard and the global level collaborates more efficiently with the local one. To inform and educate ourselves. We want to remain vigilant and to have curiosity and empathy to learn about the suffering, threats, joys, opportunities and hopes that affect our common home. We want to acquire knowledge that can help stem the ecological crisis. We want to overcome biases against other cultures or against people living in other continents, and instead learn from them. To choose carefully which technologies should be adopted. We want to use and promote as much as possible those technologies that truly serve human beings and help to improve the health of our Mother Earth. And we want to do it in a human and ethical way in order to live in a Christian way while we are in the digital continent”.



The youth, from many regions of the world, appeal to all the young people of the world saying: “Let us join forces to reverse the trend; let us work together for the common good with the enthusiasm that characterizes us: ‘If we are what we should be, we will set fire to the whole world’ (cf. Catherine of Siena, Lett. 368)”. Their appeal is also directed to the Catholic Church, that she may "listen and accept what the Holy Spirit is telling us about safeguarding creation. There are many pastors and faithful who are not aware of LS and who have not even heard of the efforts being made around the world to protect creation. We ask pastors and all who may be in positions of responsibility in our Church to set a good example of ecological conversion and to accompany young people’s initiatives in this field. Catholic Social Teaching must constantly be shared as an important way to promote the necessary change of paradigm towards integral ecology”.


To the families of the world they ask, "Be ecosystems of love, giving, patience, responsibility and transmission of Gospel values and of how to live together. Create spaces of sharing and discernment for the care of our common home. Get familiar with green spaces and animals”.

The young people then called upon all Christian Churches and all religious denominations, the world of economics, production and business, rulers and politicians. " We call for forward-looking policies for the protection of our common home that put the human person at the centre and give everyone an equal opportunity to grow and contribute to the development of their community, while fighting poverty, homelessness, and discrimination. We ask that major challenges threatening the life and households of millions of people are without further delay seriously taken care of, for example: We implore you to put down your weapons and end all war, and to address the foreseeable consequences of the disruptive sea-level rise. Effective and binding mechanisms to care for biodiversity, with the involvement of local communities, are necessary. The sound management of waste and the phasing out of fossil fuels and dangerous chemicals have also to be priorities everywhere”.

They ask the world of education that "all educational institutions to be concerned about growth ‘towards more meaning’ and towards ‘living in a good way’. We ask Catholic universities in particular to include concepts from the Church's social doctrine and specifically integral ecology in all their curricula. ‘Eco-anxiety’ should be avoided, rather, the knowledge and love for creation should be encouraged”.


Lastly, an appeal to the world of communication: "We ask that attention be drawn to the ecological issue and problems of social injustice. We ask that attention also be given to whatever is beautiful, encouraging and constructive. Please do not be instigators of hatred and unbridled consumerism. Contribute to highlight the spiritual dimension of the crisis”; and to the world of scientific research and technology: "We ask you to invest in innovations that can minimise the environmental impact of human activity, and in those that can restore ecosystems and biodiversity where they have been particularly damaged. We ask for better indicators to measure performance and the ‘good’ that is achieved by a policy or a company; we also need more accurate indicators to measure poverty and integral human development. We ask that tech development be rooted on a sound ethical approach. Let your science be at the service of humanity”.

03 August 2023