“Does the Church convincingly walks the roads of death that young people cross, the roads that deny them a job, a house, hope? Is it a convincing youth pastoral service, a truly genuine pastoral service, the one that shies away from the problems of the right to employment and housing?” These are the questions raised today by cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, archbishop of Perugia-Città della Pieve and president of the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI), in his speech at the 40th National Meeting of Diocesan Caritas agencies, taking place in Abano Terme (Padova) from April 16th to 19th, called “Giovane è…una comunità che condivide” (“Young means… a sharing community”). “In my daily pastoral experience, I sense the great pain that young people feel because of the space that is denied them – he pointed out –: space in the area of employment, for many of them also a living space (because property prices are unattainable for those who do not have a family who can help them buy or rent a house). Many young people are pained by the lack of prospects and are dreadfully weakened by hopelessness”. According to cardinal Bassetti, “this is not about promising jobs in some ideological manner. This is about truly living the Beatitudes and saying to young people: ‘Look, I am interested in your fate, as far as I can I will expose the evil they are doing to you, and above all: your battle is my battle, and with you my solidarity can develop incredible creative drives’”. “These young people – the president of CEI clearly articulated – are entitled to learn from the Church that those who turn their jobs into a daily battlefield do the devil’s work, not God’s work. They are also entitled to hear that it’s not true that things work better if they are built on unrestrained competition, but that, for any mechanism to turn smoothly, one needs to be able to work well together and be happy to work together, and that human dignity does not depend on the role one has, but on the ability and the opportunity to work humanly, on the awareness that that job is needed by society, it is useful, it makes sense. Without this convincing support in young people’s life, there’s no point, let me be quite frank about that, that as a Church we ask ourselves what role they play”.