In a video message to all 50 Catholic secondary schools in the Diocese of Westminster, The Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster has encouraged pupils to “learn how to be generous with what is right and how to say ‘no’ to what is wrong.”
In the message, he encourages pupils to move away from the values of fashion and celebrity by seeking “true and lasting values” and to acquire “the habits and routines of good behaviour”.
Referring to the recent riots in London, Archbishop Nichols said: “Mutual respect and responsibility went out of the window for those few days of rioting and looting. I know that many of you were upset at what you saw...Since then much has been said about young people today. But I am confident that you do understand the issues involved: that we owe respect to others in every circumstance; that theft is wrong; that we are easily tempted in the spur of a moment; that the actions we take always have their consequences.”
In the message, which will be shown at the start of the new school year, Archbishop Nichols also said that everyone is a child of God saying: “This truth lies at the heart of the life of your school community. I trust that in this coming year you will continue to learn more about the greatness of human living and achievement, about your faith in God made visible in Jesus Christ who is your friend and companion, about your own abilities and true potential.”