Pope says young people ‘must feel loved by the Church’

.- As he prepares to join young people in Cologne for World Youth Day this summer, Pope Benedict XVI told Italian bishops yesterday that they, especially priests and bishops, must assure the young that they are loved by the Church.

The Pope told the bishops that because young people run the risk of being "tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine…they need to be helped to grow and mature in the faith: this is the first service they must receive from the Church, especially from us as bishops and from our priests."

"Many of them," the Holy Father continued, "are not able to understand and accept all the Church's teaching immediately, but precisely for this reason it is important to reawaken within them the intention to believe with the Church, the belief that this Church, animated and guided by the Spirit, is the true subject of the faith."

Pope Benedict suggested that if the Church were to adequately convey the faith to young people, that they "must feel loved by the Church, in particular by us, bishops and priests."

He said that in this way, "they will experience in the Church the friendship and love the Lord holds for them, they will understand that in Christ truth coincides with love, and in their turn they will learn to love the Lord, and to have faith in His body which is the Church.”

“This is the central point”, he concluded, “of the great challenge of transmitting the faith to the young generations."

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