Friday, March 18, 2011

World Youth Day Will Have a "Very Spanish" Flavor

Pope Will Meet With Young Professors, Religious

The upcoming World Youth Day in Madrid will be marked by Spanish joy, with the character of a fiesta, says the executive director of the event.

Yago de la Cierva made this comment during a briefing in the Vatican press office. He predicted that more than 1 million young people will participate in the event, which has the support of the government, region and municipality of Madrid.

Although the budget will be "austere," De la Cierva said, the youth day will be marked by the "Spanish joy of the 'fiesta,' as it will be, in fact, a very Spanish event."

The organizational team for the youth day also spoke at the meeting with journalists, reporting on various initiatives that are being carried out in preparation for this world meeting of young people with the Pope.

One of the organizational aspects that is receiving the greatest attention is the use of technology both to follow the celebrations as well as for practical issues.

De la Cierva stated, "The new technologies will particularly benefit young people because, thanks to cell phones, iPads, notebooks and other instruments to communicate on the network they will be able to know where events of the day are being held and those near to the area where they are, which restaurants serve lunch, etc."

He added that they will also be able to watch videos of the events with Benedict XVI and access multimedia material on how to pray the rosary and how to prepare for confession.

Courtesy: zenit

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Benedict XVI Makes Us Think in His New Book

Prominent Theologians Present "Jesus of Nazareth" 

‘Benedict XVI is not a "pontifical dictator," but someone who gives us something to think about.’ This is the description proposed by Father Olegario González de Cardedal, a theologian and member of the Spanish Real Academia de Ciencias Morales y Políticas (Royal Academy of Moral and Political Sciences).

This comment was made by the Father Olegario when he was presenting the second volume of "Jesus of Nazareth", written by Benedict XVI, on Monday at the Spanish embassy to the Holy See. He was joined by the secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer.

One of the main themes at the presentation was the level of authority the book carries, despite the Holy Father's own clarification in this regard in the preface to Volume 1. There he affirmed that the book "is in no way an exercise of the magisterium. ... Everyone is free, then, to contradict me."

Father Ladaria, as he was affectionately called by the auditorium filled with countrymen from Spain, explained that "it is a personal book."

"What authority does it have? The authority of the author," he said. "The fact that the author is Pope adds authority, but not because it is a magisterial authority, but because he is a recognized personality."

"It is a book of Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI. It has the authority of the great theological trajectory of Joseph Ratzinger. It must be clear that it is not teaching of the Church," he added.

A Theologian-Pope

Replying to the same question, Father González de Cardedal, a friend of Ratzinger from his youth, said he believes Benedict XVI has brought a novelty to the papacy: He is a Successor of Peter who is a theologian, having dedicated a good part of his life to research and to university-level teaching.

"He is an authority who, before giving us something to obey, gives us something to think about," the priest reflected. "The conscience must discern the different levels of authority with which he exercises his mission and with the corresponding reaction to it. In this book he makes one think and tries to make one reflect with him. For some reason God willed that a theologian should be Pope."

"Man wants to be enlightened in his intelligence and this is the great debt of gratitude we owe the Pope. He is not a pontifical dictator, he is someone who gives us something to think about," Father González de Cardedal added.

Discovering the Real Jesus

Archbishop Ladaria echoed this reflection explaining that "we must see how the Pope, before making us obey, makes us think."

"It would be very interesting to see the coincidences that exist between the exhortation 'Verbum Domini,' which is magisterium. There one can see how what Ratzinger thinks enters into the teaching of Benedict XVI," the Curia official suggested. "He makes us see that the real Jesus is acceded by combining, as he himself says, the two hermeneutics of history and faith, not confusing them but not separating them. And this, it seems to me, is the great value of this book."

"It is a book that endeavors to introduce us into the encounter with Jesus," the archbishop continued. "He wants to introduce us to the encounter that he has had with Jesus Christ, not so that we will repeat his, but so that we make use of his."

Scientific Rigor

Archbishop Ladaria clarified that the book does not fall into separating "thought" and "heart."

"It is the faith testimony of someone who has behind him many years of scientific research and encounter with Jesus," he stressed.

And, the prelate added, "we encounter Jesus in the Gospels. We encounter Jesus in the Gospels that the Church has transmitted to us since the early times."

Father González de Cardedal suggested that the book is decisive for the life and trajectory of its author, written at the end of a life of research and meditation.

He advised that one "take time" to read it: "It isn't a newspaper article; it must be read with calm and recollection."

"St. Ignatius said that one had to hear Jesus' words as if one was there, as if he was saying them to me," the theologian concluded. "This book must be read at Ratzinger's feet, as if he is saying it to me."

Courtesy: zenit

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Organizers Prepare for "Green" World Youth Day

100% Natural Logo Contest Launched

Organizers of the upcoming World Youth Day in Madrid are reporting their efforts to make the event environmentally friendly and 100% natural.

The organizers of the August event announced on Thursday the program called "100% Natural," which expresses the commitment to hold a non-contaminating event.

Eva Latonda, who is in charge of the 100% Natural program, stated, "To hand over a land in good conditions to the new generations is a concern of every Christian and hence also for the World Youth Day."

Organizers explained that Zeroemissions, a company of the Abengoa entrepreneurial group that provides global solutions to fight against climate change, will calculate the direct gas emissions contributing to the greenhouse effect that will take place during the 2011 World Youth Day, and in general are inevitable in mass events, and will compensate through voluntary carbon credits.

Abengoa is making this contribution as a patron of the Madrid Vivo Foundation, an institution made up of various personalities and the most important Spanish companies collaborating actively with the youth day.

Emilio Rodríguez, director of Zeroemissions, stated: "We are delighted to collaborate with this project.

"This practice of voluntary compensation of emissions is ever more usual and is marking a tendency in events in which a great number of people gather.

"For example, it was already done in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and in the concerts of the U2 group."

Carbon Credits

The carbon credit program is an instrument included in the Kyoto Protocol. The credits are generated in sustainable projects that, without the economic aid that the acquisition of these credits implies, could not be carried out.

In the case of Madrid's youth day, carbon credits will be obtained in five projects on various continents: a field of wind power in New Caledonia, a mini-hydraulic project in the Honduras, a reforestation project in Uganda, and two projects of recovery of methane in rubbish dumps of China and Turkey.

Another initiative to support the environment, thanks to "100% Natural" are: the launching of an online carpool application, which will put young people in contact with others who will go to the events by car or other means so as to reduce the number of vehicles in Madrid.

As well, organizers are creating a "sustainable route" from the city of Madrid to the Cuatro Vientos field to encourage pilgrims to get around in a way that will not contaminate the environment (walking or on bicycle).

The program will also install bicycles that generate energy in Cuatro Vientos so that the youth day participants can recharge their mobiles, portables devices, and other electronic equipment.

The program organizers launched a competition of the creation of a "100% Natural" logo. The prize will be a trip to Rome for two.

Other Projects

A photography competition entitled "Disability in the Life of the Church," was launched to promote positive images that elicit reflection, knowledge and the Church's identification with the world of disability and vice versa. The deadline to hand in the photos is May 15.

The images can be loaded on the Web site of the competition and the users can vote for their favorites.

Family Rosary International (FRI), an ecclesial movement, has donated 600,000 rosaries that will be included in the official backpacks for the young people.

Father James Phalan of FRI, who is in Madrid, said he hoped that this contribution "will be one more thread in the beautiful tapestry of Madrid's World Youth Day."

Courtesy: zenit

Monday, March 14, 2011

Youth Complete National Tour; Conveys Message of National Integrity

A group of young people completed a two-month-long awareness tour across India, saying the response they received was “beyond expectation.” The program called Jago Yuva Bharat (awaken young India) reached New Delhi March 10, completing the 61 day road tour across the country. A 25-member inter-religious team of young people took part in the journey.

“The program has gone beyond our expectations,” Fr. Alwyn D’Souza, Executive Secretary of the CBCI Commission for Youth, while welcoming the team in Delhi. “It is not the ending but a beginning, as we have a long way to go,” he said.

The commission, with other Catholic youth groups, organized the national campaign to mobilize youth power across India, marking the UN’s International Year of Youth. The 12,578 km journey went through 18 states and 4,000 villages and cities. The campaigners presented 150 social awareness programs in over 100 institutions.

The programs stressed the UN’s eight millennium development goals, which include national integration, climate change and youth-led development.

Sister Edleburgh, the team leader, said that the issues taken up by the campaigners made an impact on the youth. “Local people, especially the youth expressed desire to do something for the country. They actively participated in our programs,” she said.

Nimisha, a participant, said the travel on specially hired vehicles was tiring. But “the feedback received by the local people kept us going,” she said.

Rakesh Singh, tour convener, said the program highlighted the difference between the rural and modern India. He said a highpoint of the program was their journey to Kandhamal in Orissa, which witnessed a spate of anti-Christian violence in 2008.

A series of programs, including a cycle rally and visit to religious places, have been organized from March 11-13 to wrap up the event.

Courtesy: cathnewsindia