Madrid, May 26, 2011 – This morning, Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, the Cardinal of Madrid and President of the Local Organizing Committee for World Youth Day (WYD), delivered the lecture “Three Months Away From World Youth Day”, at the “Forum for New Society” (Foro de la Nueva Sociedad).
“Young people have a life ahead of them‟ and World Youth Day is an opportunity for them to let the light of Christ into their lives. There, in their hearts and in their desires for commitment and solidarity, they can discover the foundation of their life,” he explained.
The fruits of commitment from World Youth Days are evident “in the short run: e.g. the many vocations to the priesthood, consecrated life, and marriage that arise from each World Youth Day. However, above all, in the long run they make a contribution to today‟s society: energy to overcome the crisis and strengthen the path to peace,” he emphasized.
More than just technical solutions
In the context of the financial crisis, especially hard on the youth, the Cardinal mentioned that “young people find problems as a result of unemployment, but they find them above all in their hearts and that’s the only place where they can be solved. Democracy lives on certain assumptions that it cannot guarantee. It must drink from other sources of humanity,” he underlined.
The Cardinal of Madrid compared the current situation to a house in flames: “If we’re in this situation, it is important that we call the fire department, but the most important thing is to react and make sure this does not happen again, and this requires more than just technical solutions.”
World Youth Days “are a personal initiative of John Paul II, who opted for a new generation of youth, the youth of 2000. Now, Benedict XVI is carrying on this legacy. It‟s the Pope who gathers and attracts the youth. In his last encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, the Pope addresses the many problems of society today…showing that in the end they all have something in common: a commitment, solidarity, and charity,” he recalled.
“We cannot ignore the fact that the choice of Spain is no mere coincidence. In fact, it has to do with the spiritual contribution of this country to the history of the Church and to Western culture. This is evident in the spiritual legacy left by the patrons of World Youth Day: St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Rose of Lima, St. Francis Xavier … ,” he highlighted.
“The Madrid skyline will change during the days of World Youth Day, as this event is one of the Universal Church, but it is also a great gathering for the society and city hosting it,” he stressed. In addition to the Papal events during World Youth Day, there will also be a rich, multifaceted schedule of cultural events.
The Cardinal of Madrid expressed his gratitude for the support of all the individuals and franchises that have made this event possible: “I would like to thank the governmental offices that have been collaborating without reservation, the entire city of Madrid, parishes and movements, communities of contemplative life who support us with their prayers, and most especially, the hundreds of thousands of WYD volunteers of all nationalities, that form a sort of special „UN‟.”
Just three months away from World Youth Day, there are about 400,000 young people from 182 countries registered.
WYD Madrid 11 Press Office
C/Maudes, 51 -9ª planta– 28003 Madrid
Tel: (+34) 91 7885354 – (+34) 638672099
Marieta Jaureguizar, WYD Madrid 11 Press Office Director
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