Rome students Joe Kosten (left) and Chris Wells.

Recently, I had the distinct honor to represent Canada at the Papal Rosary for University Students in Rome. The event was held in the Pius VI Hall and was well attended by more than 12,000 students and faithful. Though the story behind my choice of country remains long and obtuse, suffice to say it was an honor to represent any English speaking country before the Holy Father.

The Pope’s message following the Rosary promotes virtue, freedom, and justice for all.

Benedict XVI’s opinions on virtuous living and freedom are well known in the intellectual world. As Pope, he has been working to promote a society of freedom and justice through which man can grow and develop with dignity. The message for students and young people was clear: You are disciples and witnesses of the Gospel, because the Gospel is the herald cry of the Reign of God; the society of love.

As a student in Rome and an intern for the Acton Institute, this call applies directly to my activities here in the Eternal City. However, the call can extend to all young people as they work and function within society. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen wrote in his autobiography, Treasure in Clay, “Our Blessed Lord said: ‘Go into the world and make disciples.’ Here was not only a cosmic mission, but a personal one . . . to bring souls under the discipline of Christ. . . . God never intended that individual and social justice should be separated”(Treasure in Clay, 107-108). Sheen foresaw what the current Pope now asks of youth everywhere: to actively live the society of love in everyday life, and thus give witness to the truth of the Gospel.

  • JPP

    It’s pretty rich hearing someone say that the Pope supports freedom and justice for all. He’s spent more time trying to deny women the right to reproductive freedom and persecuting gays and lesbians than just about anything else.

  • CGP

    If by “reproductive freedom” you mean a woman’s supposed right to kill her child before he magically gains human rights upon exiting the uterus, I’m glad the Pope opposes this practice. Reproductive freedom is a term that abortion advocates use to distract from the horror of the practice they support. What about the freedom of the unborn human being to live? Go ahead and find out what abortion really is, what it really looks like. Read the medical descriptions of the procedures in an objective medical textbook. Do this before you decide which side of the issue you support. The facts speak for themselves. It may have the same effect on you as the ultrasound does on mothers who are about to kill their “blobs of tissue” and stop because they realize it’s a human being.