DAILY CATHOLIC WEDNESDAY October 14, 1998 vol. 9, no. 201
NEWS & VIEWS
CARDINAL SODANO AND HOLY FATHER TELL AMERICAN YOUTH: "BE NOT AFRAID!"
SANTIAGO, Chile (CWNews.com) - Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano on Sunday closed the five-day long Gathering of Youth in the Americas by requesting young Catholics not to fear "either Christian ideals or the moral teaching of the Church."
During the closing Mass at Santiago's horse racetrack, Cardinal Sodano told the nearly 500,000 youth from throughout North and South America, "We must not fear, but instead accept with courage the Christian ideals and live with generosity all the moral consequences of the Gospel." He added, "The time has arrived: this is the time to choose Christ and leave behind any moral relativism and the lack of an identity."
The Mass, which followed a vigil that started on Saturday evening, was the second largest gathering in Chile's history, next to Pope John Paul II's visit in 1983. "Your task is to go to those youth who are living a moral relativism and the dramatic void that it produces," said Cardinal Sodano. "This void explains the different evils that attack today's youth: escapism, drugs, a distorted sexuality, and the lack of a personal motivation of life," he added. The cardinal also exhorted youth to follow Christ and discover "each one's own vocation, either priesthood, consecrated life, or marriage according to God's plans."
During the vigil, a video with a message from the Pope to the participants was broadcast, in which the Holy Father expressed regret for not being physically present, but assured "my spiritual presence is with all of you." He also expressed his hope that Catholic youth will help in making Jesus "better known, better loved and better proclaimed in America."
"Dear youth, let yourselves be guided by the Spirit of the
Lord. Fear not! I know that in your heart exists a strong
desire for service and solidarity," he said. "Let us work
so that from one end of the Continent to the other many
youth, following the example of so many American saints,
may be willing to leave everything for the love of Christ
and to follow him as missionaries of the Gospel! This is
the day and the moment to give Christ a total 'yes' and
build with him the new history of America," the Pope
Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
NEWS & VIEWS