OCEANIA/PAPUA NEW GUINEA - Youth and Year of Faith: the Gospel to say "No" to drugs, alcohol and disorderly sex

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Port Moresby (Agenzia Fides) - The Year of Faith for the young people of Papua New Guinea, "a powerful opportunity and an invitation to rediscover the Gospel to say 'No' to drugs, alcohol, libertinage and disorder in sexual matters ":this is what is said, in a message sent to Fides Agency, by Fr. Shanthi Puthussery, PIME, National Coordinator of the Youth Pastoral in the Episcopal Conference of Papua New Guinea.
Fr. Shanti focuses on the so-called "lost generation", ie the range of young people between 15 and 20 who, in the context of Papua, lives major social problems: "Many of these young people are already damaged and almost destroyed by the use of drugs, pornography, disorderly sexual relationships, the immoderate consumption of alcohol. I am not sure that the civil authorities are fully aware of the seriousness of these issues, but as Catholic Church, I believe we have a responsibility to promote formation activity for young people. The Year of Faith must be accompanied with social action and transformation of society."
"Otherwise - continues Fr. Shanti - the practices of faith remain empty and do not fill the gap in society and interpersonal relationships. We need to help young people to take seriously our teachings in order to change their life: which currently is very difficult for them. "
The priest lives continually in close contact with young people. After a recent experience of formation and prayer with young people in the community of Kavieng, Fr. Shanti says: "It was a terrible struggle. It seemed that they grew up without a life of prayer. The participation in the prayers and liturgies was just a routine. Young people have expressed the wish that parishes organize specific prayer programs, meditation on the Word of God, study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church." This, he concludes, will be the key objective of the Youth Pastoral in Papua in the Year of Faith. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 11/10/2012)