The Washington Times
by Andrew P. Napolitano
December 4, 2013
What is the worst problem in the world today? Might it be war, starvation, genocide, sectarian violence, murder, slaughter of babies in the womb? Any of these would be a rational answer. When Pope Francis was asked this question recently, he replied, “Youth unemployment.”
To be sure, youth unemployment is a serious problem. In some parts of the United States, the richest country in the world, it has reached 25 percent. These are people who are no longer in school full time and are not yet 30 years of age. It is a problem for them and their families, for their communities and for the welfare states that are supporting them. Is it the worst problem in the world, though? Is it a problem for the Roman Catholic Church? Is it something the pope is competent to comment upon or to resolve?
The pope’s youth-unemployment comments recently were removed from the Vatican’s website. No sooner had that been done than the Holy Father issued his first encyclical — a formal papal teaching, as opposed to his now-famous, impromptu back-of-the-plane yet on-the-record comments.