WHAT YOUTHS MAY ASK POPE IN A TIME OF SCANDALS
Cardinal Stafford Speculates on Mood of WYD Participants
TORONTO, JULY 22, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal James
Francis Stafford believes that in view of current scandals, the young people
gathering in Toronto will ask John Paul II, "What must we do to attain
The president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity,
organizer of World Youth Day, summarized the impressions prompted by the arrival
of WYD participants.
"We have lived through the events of Sept. 11; we
have also witnessed the eclipse of honesty in the market economy in the United
States; we have seen the rise of scandals within the Catholic clergy in the
United States and other countries, scandals that have shaken the confidence of
Catholics," the American cardinal told Vatican Radio.
"Hence, today we have to live in a world that makes
us experience our vulnerability, that makes us feel the need of the God who
created and redeemed us through the blood of his Son," the cardinal added.
Cardinal Stafford explained that "the Holy Father
will hear the question that the rich young man asked Jesus, and that now he will
be asked by the hundreds of thousands of youths who have arrived to meet with
him: 'What must we do to attain eternal life?'"
"I think this question today is presented, perhaps,
in a more conscious way than in Rome in the year 2000, precisely because of the
changes that occurred in the world context," said the cardinal, a former
archbishop of Denver.
"I have the hope that, just as in previous World
Youth Days, this year's will also be full of surprises. In Toronto we see again
the youthfulness of the Church. The Church is always young, but the signs of her
youthfulness will be more evident in these days," he explained.
"I have the hope that the young people, who have
confidence in this Holy Father, this great and elderly Pope, will be able to see
in him the sign of their renewed love for Jesus Christ."