Cardinals say WYD Madrid plans to confront relativism

Cardinals Varela and Rylko discuss WYD Madrid on Tuesday at a press briefing
Cardinals Varela and Rylko discuss WYD Madrid on Tuesday at a press briefing


The strength of World Youth Day 2011 will be its role in addressing the "great unrest" resulting from the confusion and a lack of reference points among youth today, said Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko in a Tuesday press conference. The Pope's theme for the international event aims to address the needs of young people while providing foundations in Christ.

Five delegates came together in the Holy See's Press Office on Tuesday to give an update on the preparations for World Youth Day (WYD) 2011. Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid Antonio Maria Rouco Varela and the president of the Pontifical Council for Laity, Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, were the prominent voices during the presentations.

The cardinals were asked by a journalist if WYD 2011 in Madrid might address a specific challenge, such as the "dictatorship of relativism" which Pope Benedict XVI often warns about. The Italian reporter pointed out that at previous World Youth Days, challenges have been issued such as the emphasis on evangelizing Asia at the Manila gathering in 1995 or that of bringing the Gospel to the ends of the earth, which stood out in Sydney in 2008.

Cardinal Rylko answered that it would be "just" for the celebration to confront relativism and the confusion in the lives of many young people created by it. Referring to the theme chosen by the Holy Father theme for the occasion, "Rooted and Built Up in Jesus Christ, Firm in the Faith," he said that images of a tree's roots and the "rock that is Christ" are "contrary to the confusion and uncertainty" found in contemporary culture.

"I think the strong point of this 'day' is to help people in general, but particularly to help young Europeans to overcome ... the lack of a clear reference, of firm points of real values that the young people of today feel," highlighted Cardinal Rylko.

This, he said, is "the guiding line" for the next World Youth Day. "Naturally," he added, "the answer is Christ."

Cardinal Rouco Varela agreed with his fellow cardinal, adding that of the themes since the last time the WYD was celebrated in Spain, this one is "the most Christological of all," posing the person and history of Christ as its central reference point. WYD 1988 was held in Santiago de Compostela, Spain under the theme, ""I am the Way, the Truth and the Life."

In his presentation earlier in the conference, he spoke of the importance of the environment surrounding WYD 2011, saying that it is a moment to address youth today who look for work and meaning, and ask for support from the Church "in an authentic, profound and real way."

He hoped that they might be able to "help the Holy Father and the Church in the entire world to make the Day's theme ... stick and truly make a place where young people are defended."

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