Amidst a sea of young people gathered at the Cathedral of Almudena in Madrid, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela presided at the beginning of the pilgrimage of the World Youth Day Cross and pointed out that the Cross is a scandal for some who reject it because they do not understand its significance.
The WYD Cross was received by a group of young people wearing the red shirts worn by the Spanish youth who received the Cross in Rome, while some wore white shirts bearing the WYD 2010 logo.
Accompanied by eleven other bishops, Cardinal Rouco said, “Those who are scandalized by the Crucified Christ and those who call it folly do so often today in a militant fashion.”
“It is hard for them to bear the fact that for others, for us, it is the strength and wisdom of God, who saves the world and the irreversibly and gloriously guides history,” the cardinal explained.
He quoted St. Paul in referring to the “folly of the Cross” and warned that the nihilism of the 20th century led to two great evils: totalitarianism and world war.
At the conclusion of the celebration, hundreds of young people processed silently with the Cross from the cathedral to the nearby Monastery of the Incarnation. There they sang hymns and were blessed by Cardinal Rouco. Some stayed afterwards in prayer and adoration.