Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

The statement

Here's the text of the statement made by some 100+ priests of Madrid in an open letter protesting World Youth Day. The original statement can be found at the website, Foro "Curas de Madrid". I don't have Spanish, so I used the Google auto-translator. Sorry for the awkwardness of the translation and for any mistakes made. Though it is a bit hard to read, I found what the writers of the statement wrote very moving. Here it is ....


On the World Youth Day

1. Benedict XVI puts it this way in order to WYD Madrid -2011: "I want all young people, both those who share our faith as those who hesitate, doubt or believe, can live this experience can be decisive for life: the experience of the risen and living Lord Jesus and your love for each one of us" (the Papal Message for World Youth Day in Madrid). We believe that the circumstances surrounding the next WYD properly lead to the objective.

2. We see young people in general are discouraged and turned off in a society in crisis (economic, ethical, social, values ​​...), which see no future. In the Church, we find their minimal participation and did not find appropriate venues for youth ministry. Many young people see us out of date, attached to the privileges of money and power, with no valid answer for their lives.

3. As members of the society in which we live and priests in the Church to which we belong we ask ourselves: what we ourselves are doing wrong in society and the Church to the perception of young people is this? What is hurting the hierarchy? What kind of Church we are building, maintaining? Why do not we are able to motivate today's youth to participate in the Jesus Movement?

4. In this context, some initiatives have emerged, usually from the hierarchy, which are specified in major events like World Youth Day sporadic see that, indeed, are events that leave little trace. Where are the youth who participated in other similar shows, such as the Four Winds or Mission Young?

So, against those who are excited about the next WYD will be held in Madrid, because they consider it an opportunity to evangelize young people, others maintain a more critical attitude. Our position is due to the general characteristics of the celebrations as the specific mass of WYD-2011 in Madrid.

5. We believe that the WYD in Madrid has important ambiguous or negative aspects:

- The Economic Cost of event is very high, more in times of crisis, and we believe does not tally with the style of Jesus in the Gospel.

- To make this possible, has taken a covenant with economic and political forces that reinforces the image of the Church as a privileged institution and close to power, social scandal that entails, particularly in the current circumstances.

- Scandal led to compare the ease with which the government fund this event with so many cuts in economic resources and social rights as being required for most citizens.

- Presents a model of Church triumphalism, which uses spectacular ways, relying too much on the strength of numbers and masses, showing a dazzling figure of the Pope and the Church to consider some evangelical.

- 'The accents of the Day is marked by an overly conservative faith. It seems designed for certain church groups rather than more diverse set of young Catholics.

- Despite some efforts to prepare to avoid it, is presented as an act timely, massive and difficult to continue.

- Consequently, we fear that WYD will be a bluff for those who can find fame, success, numbers, triumphalism, business or church validate its position.

6. We recognize, however, that for some young people and educators WYD can be the occasion of a religious experience, sincere and honest. But we believe that as a general approach, this framework will be developed that is best suited to "live the experience of the risen Lord Jesus" spoken of the Pope.

7. For our part, on the way to experience the God of Jesus, the primary purpose of Christian education, we seem to be waived some criteria such as:

- The social and theological place of the poor as a permanent source of evangelism.

- Humility and simplicity of means, as the gospel is at odds with ostentation, arrogance, wealth and power.

- The role of the subjects in their education that makes possible a horizontal and participatory process at the grassroots.

- He tries to walk with them to discover the values ​​that the Spirit is waking up today in these companies and these younger generations, incorporate our educational work, and daily patient to that action and make it fruitful for the life of the world.

8. In short, as Benedict XVI offers us want to live and spread "the experience of living and risen Lord Jesus and your love for each of us." . But we estimate that WYD-Madrid-2011 is not a suitable means or by the conditions that surround it and the pedagogy used.

Foro “Curas de Madrid”, Forum "Cures Madrid"

Marzo 2011 March 2011



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