Pope: Ignorance breeds fear, fear breeds intolerance
By Carol Glatz, CNS – Love and seek the truth, which requires being open to listening to others and sharing in dialogue, Pope Francis told students.
Be actively engaged with activities at school, he said, “but always with a mind open to newness.”
“Seek the truth in everything without letting yourselves be conditioned by the fashions of the moment or by common thinking, by ‘likes’ or the consensus of followers,” the pope said during a meeting in the Paul VI Audience Hall Feb. 3 with students and teachers from a private Catholic school in northern Italy. The Rotondi school in Gorla Minore was celebrating its 425th anniversary.
Depending too much on current trends or prevailing opinions “can take away our freedom,” the pope said.
“At the same time, though, do not be afraid, when necessary, to change and accept opinions and ways of thinking different to your own in all that which is not essential: be true lovers of the truth, and for this, always open to listening” and shared discussion.
“Ignorance breeds fear, and fear breeds intolerance,” he said.
But, Pope Francis said, “knowledge grows in sharing with others. One studies in order to grow, and growing means to mature together, to engage in dialogue: to converse with God, with teachers and other educators, with parents; to converse between yourselves and also with those who think differently, always to learn new things and to enable everyone to give the best of themselves.”