.- In statements to Vatican Radio, the President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Archbishop Stanislao Rylko, said that thanks to World Youth Day, Cologne has been transformed into a “beacon of hope” for Europe and the world.
“This city, located in the heart of Europe, is a beacon of hope amidst a serious crisis of identity” the continent is experiencing, the Polish archbishop said. “Europe is denying, at least at the institutional level, its own Christian roots,” he added.
Archbishop Rylko, whose Vatican dicastery is responsible for organizing WYD, also noted that the event in Cologne “is a challenge for them, because they must show the whole world, through their witness of faith, that Christianity is not just the glorious past of our continent, but that it is also part of the present and the future, since young people are the new generation of disciples of Christ.”
The archbishop also pointed out the importance that each person be himself or herself, and “this is only possible by kneeling down before God.” Therefore the message of this World Youth Day is that “we must strive to live our lives as true adoration of God, rejecting all forms of idolatry that modern culture imposes on us so strongly. Only this way does one’s life have full meaning.”