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Pope Francis and TED: A Revolution of Tenderness

Author: Caitlin Plimmer

Picture: Wikimedia

Pope Francis and TED: A Revolution of Tenderness

Caitlin Plimmer finds many reasons to be hopeful in Pope Francis' TED talk.

On April 25, 2017, Pope Francis gave a talk at a TED conference entitled TED2017: ‘The Future You.’

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a media organisation that posts talks online for free distribution. Under the slogan "ideas worth spreading”, these talks cover areas such as education, science, technology and creativity.

TED speakers range from well known celebrities like former US President Bill Clinton to less well known innovators like graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister, all talking about their specific area of expertise or interest.

Pope Francis spoke as part of a session on the theme ‘Health, Life, Love’, alongside such world figures as athlete Serena Williams and journalist Gayle King.

He said he was “thrilled” to be part of the conference, and his talk was shown to people from a variety of faiths and creeds from all over the world.

Standing Together

I have loved Pope Francis’ way with words ever since hearing him speak at the 2016 World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland.

Speaking from the heart with authority and humility, he encapsulates the heart of the Church’s values whilst making them accessible and understandable to those outside the Church.

Pope Francis spoke about our need to live in accord with those around us, as “life is about interactions”.

He asked the world to “build the future by standing together, including everyone”, not holding any judgement towards people but accepting them for who they are.

He also spoke about the relationship between science and religion. He praised incredible scientific advancements, and called on those working in the fields of science and religion to work together for a better and more harmonious world.

Pope Francis took the parable of the Good Samaritan, and placed it in the context of the world we live in today.

Describing it as “the story of today’s humanity”, he emphasised the importance of working together, as well as our duty to look after one another in a world of conflict.

In this way, he revealed the relevance of the Catholic faith.

Humility And Concrete Love

He called for “a revolution of tenderness” within the world, as tender as God was when he sent Jesus to earth to walk beside us. 

Those in power need to come from a place of “humility and concrete love” to use the power they have been given for the good of all.

As Christians, we are called to be like Christ in every area of our lives, including our use of social media. Sites like Facebook and YouTube can be dominated by judgment and gossip.

In contrast, we should strive to be a source of positivity and encouragement and create a welcoming, peaceful place for people to share their opinions, safe in the knowledge that they will not be rejected.

In Pope Francis’ words, “our future has a name, and its name is hope.” We should hope for a better, brighter future, working together to achieve heaven on this earth we have been given.

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