Sydney (Fides Service) - “World Youth Day’s injection of spiritual values could break the spirial of self-indulgence that is responsible for the cycle of suicide and alcohol that kills a signficant number of young Australians”: retired Archbishop of Synday Cardinal Edward Clancy said commenting the announcement that the next WYD in 2008 will be held in Sydney.
The Cardinal is convinced that besides bringing new life-sap to Australia’s Catholic communities, the event will be a memorable opportunity for all Australians and not only the young ones.
“Secularism with its constant emphasis on the material and the temporal, pleasure and self-indulgence, on money and the things money can buy is aided and abetted by the media - the Cardinal told independent Australian journal Online Catholics. He agreed that times are difficult for Christianity and the young are vulnerable, but nevertheless, he said, “World Youth Day gives all of us occasion to pause and give deeper thought to the great questions of life and death, the Gospel message as well as the teaching of the Church.” One of the theme suggested themes for the next WYD is “Take up your cross and follow me!”
Another Australian prelate, Bishop Patrick Power, auxiliary of Canberra and Goulburn speaking to the Canberra Times, said WYD will help the Catholic Church in Australia take up the challenges of the 2nd Vatican Council especially with regard to encouraging the laity to exercise their gifts in the Church: “The universal call to holiness espoused by the Council, encourages all to be actively part of the life of the pilgrim Church. The primacy of conscience re-affirmed by Vatican II, respects the unique responsiblity each Christian has before God” he said
The Bishop said WYD will be an opportunity to consider and boost ecumenical and interreligious dailogue and relations because “Building bridges is surely an important part of being a Catholic today”. Preparation and celebration of this major church event in 2008 will also serve as a stimulus to render Austiralian society more open to the integration of refugees and asylum seekers, the poor and the indigenous peoples always the object of the Catholic Church’s advocacy and concern.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 31/8/2005 righe 27 parole 271)