Catechism test for World Youth Day visa applicants
Young people travelling to Germany for World Youth Day from regions such as the Balkans, are being subjected to the rigors of a test on their faith, to ensure they are bona fide pilgrims.
catholicireland.net reports that the measure by Germany is designed to prevent a wave of illegal immigration when more than a million young people descend on the country in August.
German embassies have consequently made up a scored questionnaire to sort out the true pilgrims from the would-be illegal immigrants.
catholicireland.net says the questions begin easily enough. "Who were the first people?" and "How and when did Jesus die?", but by the time you have reached question ten, the going is a little tougher. For example, it asks them to name the seven deadly sins, and the divine virtues. It also asks how long Jesus stayed on earth after the resurrection?
The London Times reports the questions are marked according to difficulty. The pass mark is 70%. They are drawn from four quizzes used by the German Embassy in the Albanian capital Tirana, leaked on Monday to the mass-circulation Bild newspaper.
German officials said that there had been no attempt to discriminate against Albanian visitors; the quiz was being applied in several non-European Union countries and was simply a guide for consular officials to determine how genuine the visa applicant's motives were.
Australian prilgrims do not require a visa - or knowledge of church doctrine - to enter Germany for World Youth Day.
Testing times for would be WYD pilgrims (catholicireland.net 8/6/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
World Youth Day
World Youth Day - Australia
Bishop announces World Youth Day delegates (CathNews 14/4/05)
Youth Day Attendees Given Catechism Test (Zenit 7/6/05)
Record number of volunteers sign up for World Youth Day (Independent Catholic News/Fides 7/6/05)
Spiritual Program for Youth Day Released (Zenit 3/6/05)
Deadline Nears for Youth-Day Volunteers (Zenit 29/5/05)
Coin to Commemorate World Youth Day 2005 (Zenit 27/5/05)
9 Jun 2005