In 1967, Pope Paul discussed “Cultural Conflicts,” and he begins with a point we’ve seen Pope Francis make now and then, that elders possess wisdom that grounds subsequent generations.
10. Moreover, traditional culture comes into conflict with the advanced techniques of modern industrialization; social structures out of tune with today’s demands are threatened with extinction. For the older generation, the rigid structures of traditional culture are the necessary mainstay of one’s personal and family life; they cannot be abandoned. The younger generation, on the other hand, regards them as useless obstacles, and rejects them to embrace new forms of societal life.
It is not just about rigidity. Sometimes it is a loss of understanding the underpinnings of traditions. And sometimes it is about the lure of modern things:
The conflict between generations leads to a tragic dilemma: either to preserve traditional beliefs and structures and reject social progress; or to embrace foreign technology and foreign culture, and reject ancestral traditions with their wealth of humanism. The sad fact is that we often see the older moral, spiritual and religious values give way without finding any place in the new scheme of things.
Often enough, the powers-that-be are pleased to see shifts in allegiances toward things that will earn a profit for the corporate masters.
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