By our Rome Correspondents DOPE PAUL said this week
that one of his bitterest impressions of contemporary life comes from gazing on the "sad, tired, boastful" faces of teenagers like Britain's teddy boys and the Mods and Rockers.
He is also grieved. he said, "by many other teenage faces, marked by existentialist extravagance, by restlessness and pleasure-seeking, by avidity to enjoy life as an experience without meaning, as a false and ephemeral spectacle".
The Holy Father was speaking on Sunday to Italian Catholic youth taking part in the third national camp outing for Rovers. He told them it was a shame that the Mods and Rockers were sometimes represented as characteristic of modern youth.
The Rovers' visit, he said, made him very happy, because it was a pleasure to see "real young people". The Pope continued: "How many youths, passing from adolescence to youthful maturity, disrupt the line of their own formation, disperse the forces and the conquests of early education, confound the liberty of their growing years with a capricious abandonment to the transient."
They lose. said Pope Paul, "the sense of responsibility and the aims which must govern human life. and they give in to the most conformist gregariousness in the belief that in this way they will reach the level tat a new and superior manhood."
Calling the Rovers true men and sincere Christians, the Pope then said: "We will confide to you, dearest young people, that one of the bitterest impressions that comes to us from observing the landscape of contemporary life is that of the image of so many sad. emaciated, tired, boastful faces of youngsters represented as typical of this generation.
"And I don't mean only those unhappy faces of the teddy boys and the Mods and Rockers, which reveal profound dramas, pitifully and precociously full of pain, of distrust, of vice, or evil and delinquency" Pope Paul said that so often young people who walk the straight and bitter path are not esteemed, but are considered worthless, "without guts, without originality, and without good looks," He added: "There are those who smile at them, and with their smile. demolish them. Yet in fact those they ridicule are true young people using their conscience and their powers to the full."
Pope's message to Lancashire Scoui Rally—page 3.