Thursday, September 04, 2014

Who are you video-chatting with? Oh, just with Pope Francis

It wasn't a regular videochat. Pope Francis simultaneously talked to young people from five continents, all connected at once, thanks to the Internet.

This unusual encounter took place during the presentation of 'Scholas.Social,' the first social network for schools. The education project backed by the Pope was launched in the Vatican.

During their chat, the young students asked the Pope all types of questions. Cameron, from Australia, wanted to know how Scholas helps bringing people together. Pope Francis answered that sharing experiences is the best way to fight discrimination.

Eyal, from Israel, told him that Jews, Muslims and Christians get along well at his school. He also invited him to visit the Holy Land again.

But the Pope's best answer was to a Turkish boy who wondered about the future.

"I don't have that crystal ball that witches use to foresee the future. But I want to tell you  something... Do you want to know where the future is? It's in your heart, in your mind and in your hands.”

Despite being broadcast online, the atmosphere of the conversation  was so intimate that some kids had a funny way of posing some questions.

"I'll ask you some questions. Don't get nervous.”

In the end, what Christian, from South Africa, wanted to know was how Scholas was born. Pope Francis said that it was a way for young people to share values, like for example, playing sports.

"Sports saves us from selfishness and helps us to not be selfish. It's important to work together, to study together and to walk the path of life together. You see, I was not scared by your question. Thank you very much.”

And althought the signal was weak during the connection to El Salvador, Pope Francis gave young Ernesto a clear message: he warned him against criminal gangs like the so-called "maras.” He encouraged the group to look out for each other and to stay away from the violence.

After nearly 20 minutes, the Pope ended the videochat asking young people to "dream the future.”

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