April 11, 2000
volume 11, no. 72
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Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

Vatican Presents World Youth Day 2000

    VATICAN CITY, APR 10 (ZENIT.org).- This morning, the 15th World Youth Day 2000 was presented at a press conference in the Vatican Press Office. Recalling John Paul II's words, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said: "It is not the Pope who has gone to meet youth in different parts of the world, but youth who have come to meet the Pope."

    Cardinal James Francis Stafford, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, explained that "the World Youth Days are an expression of John Paul II's special charism to communicate with youth, and they are revealed as one of the 'prophetic options' of his pontificate. Defined by the Pope as 'providential moments for stopping' of the young generations on the road of faith towards the new Christian millennium, the World Days have reached their 15th edition. As John Paul II promised, they have accompanied youth to their appointment with the bi-millennial of Christ's Incarnation, becoming the very heart of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000."

    The president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity emphasized that "never as this year will the traditional meanings of the World Youth Day be more evident: an intense moment of evangelization, both for the youths themselves and for the Church and the world; a real 'epiphany' of the young Church. An effective symbol of ecclesial communion among the youths, between them and the Bishops, among the various groups, movements and associations; all united in the same love for the Church and the world, but above all for Jesus Christ. It is a great challenge for the renewal of youth: they want to be strong and authentic, active members of the Church, to construct a new society; and Christ involves them in a profound commitment that makes them missionaries of the contemporary world."

    Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Vicar general for the diocese of Rome, and president of the Italian Episcopal Conference, said that in mid-August, "Rome will be the youngest city of the world" and he added that "the characteristics of the Church of Rome, open to the world and participant in the Pope's universal care, give special meaning to the welcome of the young pilgrims: each one of them must feel at home in Rome, guests of a city that is a 'common homeland,' where it will not be difficult to discover the links with one's own land, to find persons who have come from the same lands and now reside in Rome, living memories of saints and martyrs who have so much in common with the history and life of the Churches from which the youths themselves come."

    Cardinal Ruini pointed out that "the day also represents for us a way of implementing the cultural plan of the Italian Church. To welcome youth in Rome and in Italy means to meet with all that the Christian faith has inspired and expressed over the centuries: cathedrals, works of art, testimonies of faith that each youth will be able to admire. Very important for them also is the meeting with the culture of our families, which is still primarily Christian, in spite of so many challenges from secularization. Likewise, the Roman youth and Italians, the host families and our entire city, will be able to receive a strong stimulus from meeting these youths, who are coming to Rome moved by faith, by a sense of universal fraternity and by confidence in being able to do something positive together in their own personal life and in that of peoples."

    Bishop Cesare Nosiglia, president of the Italian Commission for the 15th World Youth Day 2000, concluded the presentation. He said that "the patrimony of the Christian faith, which the youths have received in their local Churches, must be made alive here in Rome, in contact with the living memory of the apostles, martyrs, and saints who have lived and given their life for Christ. Here, in this city-shrine, the youth may live an experience of faith by returning to the roots, to the original sources of Christianity. Here they receive the Pope, successor of Peter, the first who confessed his faith in Jesus Christ Son of God, the concrete mandate to profess, announce, and live the faith of the Church in their very existence as youths to change, not only their own life in the light of the Gospel, but to discover history with the force of love that rises from the Cross of Christ in order to make the world more free, peaceful, and united." ZE00041005


April 11, 2000
volume 11, no. 72

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