Pope Francis recalls ‘the primary reason’ for the new edition of YouCat

Pope Francis World Youth Day welcoming ceremony Young people greet Pope Francis as he arrives at the World Youth Day welcoming ceremony in Lisbon, Portugal, Aug. 3, 2023. | Credit: Jesus Huerta/Flickr JMJ Lisboa 2023

“Love is the primary reason for the existence of the Church,” Pope Francis begins the letter accompanying the new edition of YouCat, the Catechism of the Catholic Church written for adolescents and young people.

The full text was published yesterday by the Italian newspaper La Stampa and is titled “The Password for Joy,” which, according to the pope, is found precisely within the catechism.

The pope explains that this “love” of which he speaks is primarily the love that God the Father revealed to the world through Jesus. 

However, he also points out that there is another love that comes from each person: the love that believers, in turn, profess for Jesus Christ.

“He is the center of our heart. How, in fact, can we not have feelings of true affection toward him who has made us partakers of a love, that of the Father, a love about which it is impossible to imagine a greater one?” the pope wrote in his letter. “The believer is, therefore, always in love with Jesus.”

The pontiff also noted that it is the duty of “adults in faith” to make Jesus Christ known to those who have not yet had the opportunity. This encounter, the Holy Father said, must be proposed through the catechism, which reveals the love that Catholics feel for the Lord.

“This beautiful book that you now have in your hands has its origin precisely in such a love: the love for Jesus that we believers hold within us,” he said.

Regarding the importance of the catechism for young people, Pope Francis recalled his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who wrote in the preface to the first edition of YouCat: “This book is compelling because it speaks to us of our very destiny and therefore concerns each of us intimately. Because of this I ask you: Study the catechism with passion and perseverance!”

Pope Francis referenced these words and also recommended that young people frequently read the Gospel and pray daily to “transfer” the attitudes of Jesus from the mind to the heart.

“Here is the password for a truly lively and joyful life,” the pope said, “to look at and judge what happens to us and the decisions we are called to make with the same eyes, with the same feelings, with the same attitude that embodied Jesus.”

Meuser leaves YouCat Foundation

Bernhard Meuser, the German founder, main author, and “father of YouCat” will retire at the end of this year, the organization said on its official website.

The 70-year-old theologian and philologist has written, supervised, and edited numerous publications that have received international recognition. The most important has been the Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church (YouCat), which has been translated into more than 60 languages and is one of the bestselling Catholic books worldwide.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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