Norwegians prepare for World Youth Day on-line

Oslo, Norway, Nov 1, 2007 / 09:58 am (CNA) .- The many preparations necessary for World Youth Day 2008 are causing some organizers to utilize the internet to reach the youth.  Father Reider Voith, head of the youth pastoral office of the diocese of Oslo, explained Norway Catholics' internet efforts in an interview with Servizio Informazione Religiosa (SIR).

The Diocese of Norway posts "e-pilgrimage" newsletters on World Youth Day, commentaries on the Gospel, religious reflections, and forums.  Father Voith described them as aids that strengthen Norwegian Catholics' common identity.  They encourage youth to reflect on their beliefs and the reasons for belief.

Norwegian Catholics suffer from a 'spiritual solitude' in their country, Father Voith claimed.  While being clear that Catholics do not suffer prejudice, he spoke of another source of suffering.  "We are the victims of the religious indifference of those who surround us. Secularism is very strong in Norway," he said.

Father Voith explained the necessity for preparing the youth online in his country:  "Preparation for World Youth Day is being conducted through Internet due to the difficulties we have in actually meeting youth, due to various reasons - study, work or geographical distances. We're a minority and our youth are scattered over a huge territory."

Catholics only make up 2.5 percent of the Norwegian population.