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WYD creates young people who say ‘yes’ to Christ: Card Rylko

Vatican City, 16 July 2013: Many people wonder with amazement how, in this time of rampant secularization, the Church is able to have an attractive force so powerful towards the younger generations and what motivates young people around the world to respond in great numbers to the Holy Father, said Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity on WYD. The question is, he said in an interview with Vatican Radio, what is the secret of the great success of these global gatherings of young people around the Successor of Peter. The Cardinal recalled what Blessed John Paul II once said: "What young people are looking into WYD is Christ himself." In a world so confused, where many certainties crumble, many young people discover a Friend in Christ, trust in, a sure guide, the Rock on which they can build their own existence.

When asked about what's new for the edition of the Rio World Youth Day, Cardinal Rylko said: some important new features include first, after 26 years WYD returns to Latin America. Also, while Pope Benedict XVI chose Rio de Janeiro as a place of celebration of the Day and drove the process of pastoral preparation through his profound message, it will be Pope Francis – first Latin Pope - to preside over the event.

The Cardinal also said that although the basic structure of World Youth Day is always the same, every edition of is different, because of the changing cultural and religious context of the country and the Church that hosts it. And so in Rio, the natural beauty of the city of carioca, the imposing statue of Christ the Redeemer in Corcovado will, no doubt, the dominant factors. Not to be missed then is the faith of Latino (and especially that of Brazil!) - an exuberant faith, full of enthusiasm and joy ... this will be an element that will characterize this World Youth Day.

What impression he wants to give to WYD 2013 Rio with its theme "Go and make disciples of all nations", Cardinal Rylko said: in the framework of the Year of Faith and the Synod of Bishops on the new evangelization, Pope Benedict XVI wanted to encourage young people to be the true protagonists in the mission of proclaiming the Gospel in today's world. For Pope Benedict World Youth Days are nothing more than a "new evangelization in place". In this line also fit the frequent solicitations of Pope Francis: "Young people need to tell the world: it is good to follow Jesus ... it's good to get out of themselves on the outskirts of the existence of the world and to bring Jesus".

Reflecting on the changes that has taken place in the last 26 years of WYD, he said that the history of World Youth Day is a great observatory. During these years the world of young people has changed considerably. And young people are the first to feel the consequences of these changes, both positive and negative. We could say that young people are a very sensitive cultural seismograph. The biggest challenges today are the "crisis of God" and his elimination from the human realm and the crisis of man, putting into question the very nature of the human being. In this context, WYD has become an important school of faith and the search for new and more effective forms for a dialogue between the Church and the younger generation.

The WYD is not intended, in fact, as a five-day celebration in the presence of Pope. WYD is sowing of the Gospel that needs to be carefully prepared before and after. And these spiritual fruit are many: real conversions; radical life changes; vocational choices of the priesthood or the consecrated life or of Christian marriage, the discovery of the sacrament of reconciliation and prayer in general. Thanks to WYD, there is a new generation of young people who says "yes" to Christ and to his Church – there is also a new generation of youth ministry workers who are more sensitive to the spiritual needs of young people.
Source: VR Sedoc


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