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Philippine bishop challenges youths to mold their future

Youth Commission chief says their future begins by them choosing the country's next leader
A Philippine bishop is calling on youths to shape their own futures. (Photo: Angie de Silva/UCA News)

A Catholic bishop in the Philippines has called on youths to take the lead in shaping their futures by not shying away from responsibilities.

The call came in a Nov. 17 statement issued by the bishops’ conference as it readies to kick off preparations for World Youth Day 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dioceses in the Philippines will officially begin preparations for the event on Nov. 21 that will include bishops choosing youths from various dioceses to represent the Philippines in Portugal.

In the statement, Bishop Rex Alarcon of Daet reminded young people that their future was primarily in their hands.

“Stop blaming others. Stop blaming circumstances. Rather, take responsibility for your future,” said the prelate, who also heads the bishops’ Youth Commission.

He said young people must stop being dependent on older generations shaping their future.

“Normally, the older generation feel responsible for the young. So, they are the ones who take the lead in shaping the future of the younger generation. But this mentality should be modified. The youth of today must be in the driver’s seat. They must take charge.”

The prelate said that if the young wanted to succeed in life, they needed to be serious in choosing their next set of leaders.

“Soon we shall choose our leaders on election time. Let us fight selfishness, indifference and apathy. Let us choose to care, to engage and make good choices. Our freedom is perfected by constantly choosing the good. Choosing evil is an abuse of our freedom,” he added.

People who are considered youths comprise 52 percent of the total registered voters for national polls in 2022, according to the Philippine Commission on Elections (Comelec).

There are 60.46 million Filipinos registered for the 2022 general elections. Of this total, 31.41 million belong to the youth group aged 18-40, a commission spokesman said recently.

Bishop Alarcon said election time is a time to do what is good and to vote for leaders who are good.

“Resist evil and negativity. Do not allow yourselves to be enslaved by laziness and vices. In Christ, you have the power to conquer evil with good. Do not allow yourselves to be drowned by the tragedies and misfortunes you encounter. Do not let go of the light that gives you hope,” he said.

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