WYD Lisbon 2023

Lifestyles for a new humanity: 4th Congress on Care for Creation to the WYD of Lisbon

Summaries of the proceedings and conclusions
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Let's talk about style: the Congress organized by the John Paul II Youth Foundation on the Care of Creationthe fourth after those linked to the WYDs of Rio de Janeiro (2013) Krakow (2016) and Panama (2019) was intended to be very concrete: not only to make sure that young people get into the heart of Laudato Si', but that Francis' thoughts become a daily action for them, a habit of caring for everything and for each other.

For this purpose, many experts from all over the world were invited and the work was divided into five panels that touched upon the concrete life of our times: Lifestyles and Economy: Changing Lifestyles, Production and Consumption; Lifestyles and Education for Young People: Family, Friendship and Society; Lifestyles and Natural Resources: Water, Energy, Agriculture: "To ensure that the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor may be heard”; Lifestyles and Politics: Facing the New Conflicts with Freedom and Responsibility / Operating on the Basis of Great Principles and Thinking of the Long-term Common Good ; and finally Lifestyles and Technology: Technology as a Creative Way of Caring for our Common Home.

The young people became very involved with enthusiastic participation on these issues. "The first step is to try to have a very deep relationship with God," says Joanna, speaker of the second panel. "We have created the obstacles, they are not insurmountable for us," says Milagros, speaker of the third panel, with optimism and confidence. "It is important to have a synodical view of the climate crisis; our personal viewpoint is not enough", reiterates the fourth panelist.

Plus, many, many other insights of great interest. H.E. Archbishop Claudio Giuliodori, President of the Youth Commission of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences, was entrusted with the concluding remarks. He began by recalling the 400th anniversary of the birth of the great thinker Blaise Pascal, who said, "Mankind is running toward the abyss and in order to avoid thinking about what it is doing it puts up a nice little stage." Today these little scenarios are increasing, and here today we have tried to re-center the things that really matter. Starting with the contemplation of creation: "First of all contemplating, having a gaze capable of grasping beauty, which frees us from the presumption of possessing and dominating. Grasping harmony and fragility. Creation is a complex reality, which poses so many questions to us, continuously changing." We cannot change the past, but the present and future are in the hands of our freedom and choices. "We have spoken about lifestyles," he continued, "as believers we have a formidable stylist, God the Father; a model who is Jesus Christ; an exceptional tailor, who sews each person's life to his or her own measure, and that is the Holy Spirit. We must create our lifestyle from them". With the logic of the Gospel we can begin to change our lifestyle. He then recalled three stages by which we can begin this change: the present, with the WYD we are experiencing in Lisbon; the Synod, which will have among its main themes that of the Care for Creation; and the Jubilee of 2025, which reminds us that every now and then we need to stop and make ourselves accountable to God: a time of grace to start again, improved.

The final greetings and acknowledgements come from the event's host, Prof. Isabel Capeloa Gil, Rector of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa; “This week of grace for Lisbon and for the Church could not have started in a better way. We are honored by the choice that has been made of our city for the WYD and of our University for this beautiful meeting”.


01 August 2023