.- Bishop Carlos BaladrÃ³n of Guantanamo-Barcoa, Cuba, announced last week that 34 young people from Cuba representing all of the dioceses of the country are preparing to travel to Cologne in August to participate in World Youth Day.
Visiting the international headquarters of Aid to the Church in Need, Bishop BaladrÃ³n stated that âthere has always been real participation on the part of Cubaâ in events like World Youth Day.
This year, 34 Cubans, at least 2 young people from each of the countryâs 11 dioceses, and 4 bishops, will attend the event. âOur young people desire to open themselves to Christ,â the bishop maintained.
According to the bishop, the formation of young lay leaders is a priority for the Church and he pointed out that âtoday, many people are rediscovering their Catholic rootsâ and that there is a âhigh level of participation by the youth in the life of the Church.â
Bishop BaladrÃ³n recalled the impact of the Popeâs visit to Cuba in 1998, which helped Catholics in Cuba âto be witnesses of the faith in their daily lives, at work, at the university, in the family.â
Referring to social problems such as the breakdown of the family, abortion and prostitution, the bishop said that those problems in Cuba can only be addressed through âthe transformation of hearts.â
Bishop BaladrÃ³n thanked Aid to the Church in Need and its benefactors for the help it has provided the Church in Cuba, and he asked that assistance for the âdifficult, but hopeful work of the Churchâ in his country be continued.