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Young Solomon Islanders in chastity push

Earlier this month, about 20 young Solomon Islands Catholics publicly committed themselves to chastity until marriage.

Their vow was the culmination of True Love Waits, a weekend seminar on chastity conducted by the Salesians on the weekend of 18-20 July as a preparation for World Youth Day 2005 in Cologne, Germany.

The event was inspited by Pope John Paul II's Angelus message on the feast of St Maria Goretti, during which he said: "Today pleasure, egoism, and even immorality are often exalted in the name of false ideals and happiness."

Spokesperson Hilda Monica Anihoniara explained: "After the sexual revolution of the 1960s, young people of the Solomon Islands are divided between the new fashions - characterized by consumerism, materialism, and hedonism - and traditional values. This puts them in crisis: they need new points of support and the Holy Father offers these with force."

The weekend program included formation, personal reflection, and prayer. In addition, some Catholic married couples gave their testimony of "conjugal life", stressing their perception of the need for communication, forgiveness, respect, and responsibility.

The Solomons have been the focus of much international attention in recent weeks, with the inauguration of the Australian-led security intervention.


Pope tells youth to forget summer love, try chastity instead (9/7/03)
Virgin renaissance (Sydney Morning Herald 8/11/02)
Pope warns against pursuit of pleasure (8/7/02)
Religious give qualified support to Solomons intervention (28/7/03)
Solomon Islands militants ready to lay down weapons (NZ Herald)
Solomons Archbishop urges warlord to surrender (8/7/03)
Islanders need help to move to peace (Archbishop Adrian Smith, Sydney Morning Herald 7/7/03)
Big trouble in little paradise called Solomons (Catholic Leader)
The Catholic Church in the Solomon Islands
Salesians of Don Bosco
Pacific Islands Religious
World Youth Day 2005

30 Jul 2003