01/30/2012, 00.00
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Young people, justice and peace according to Benedict XVI and Gandhi

by Nirmala Carvalho
For Jesuit Fr Cedric Prakash, director of a human rights centre, young people aware of the reality that surrounds them and want to “build a society with a more humane and fraternal face”. Today is ‘Peace Day’ in India, marking the anniversary of the death of the Mahatma.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Pope Benedict XVI’ message on World Peace day “Educating Young People in Justice and Peace” expresses the “conviction that the young, with their enthusiasm and idealism, can offer new hope to the world,” said Fr Cedric Prakash, director of the Jesuit Centre for Human Rights Prashant in Ahmadabad. Today, 30 January, is India’s ‘Day of Peace’, anniversary of the assassination of the Mahatma Gandhi

Young people “are apprehensive about many things. They want to receive an education that prepares them for the real world,” Fr Prakash said. “They see how difficult it is to find a steady job and create a family. They wonder whether they can contribute to political, cultural and economic life in order to build a society with a more humane and fraternal face.”

In his World Peace Day message, Benedict XVI addressed those responsible for young people’s education, namely parents, teachers, spiritual leaders as well as politicians. “Society,” Fr Prakash said citing the papal message, “has a crucial task, which is to heed young people’s concerns.” Educators must “listen to them and appreciate them” it they want “to build a future of peace and justice.”

According to the Jesuit clergyman, who has received a number of awards, including the Legion of Honour, France’s highest civilian medal in 2006, the papal message on World Peace day is “relevant and urgent” because in it, the Holy father “acknowledges the reality of the world we live in (devoid of justice and in great need of peace) and at the same time he emphasizes his confidence in youth so that all can live in a more humane, just and peaceful world.”
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