.- Bishop Jose Saiz Meneses of Terassa, Spain, told reporters this week World Youth Day 2005 in Cologne will be an opportunity to witness the charism of Pope Benedict XVI with young people, and he recalled other occasions in which the Pontiff “has shown his closeness” with the young. Bishop Saiz said Benedict XVI “is a different person than John Paul II” and that “what his charism with young people will be” is still not known. Nevertheless, he recalled that on previous occasions, “he has shown his closeness to them.”
The bishop noted that although it is true “that the Church has it rough with young people, it is also true that the Catholic Church is the organization that brings the most young people together.”
For his part, Archbishop Julian Barrio of Santiago de Compostela explained that young people and today’s society are seeking answers to many questions that the Church is willing to resolve with an attitude of “attentiveness and dialogue.”
“If young people find an answer to their questions, they will find answers to their lives, which will be of benefit to an increasingly fraternal and humane society,” he said.
The head of Youth Ministry for the Bishops’ Conference of Spain, Victor Cortizo, revealed that so far 40,000 young people from that country have registered for WYD. That number is expected to rise to 50,000 by mid-August. 54 bishops from Spain have also indicated they will attend the event.