Senior cardinal's high hopes for WYD
The retired Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal Edward Clancy, has said that World Youth Day's injection of spiritual values could break the cycle of self-indulgence that is responsible for the cycle of suicide and alcohol that kills a significant number of young Australians.
Cardinal Clancy told Online Catholics that society's sidelining of spiritual values causes its members to consider the meaning of their lives based on poor priorities and a slanted world view.
"Secularism - with its constant emphasis on the material and the temporal, on pleasure and self-indulgence, on money and the things that money can buy - has the inside running, aided and abetted by the mass media," he said.
He added that although these are "difficult times for Christianity", World Youth Day 2008 - which is to be held in Sydney - should encourage all Australians to consider the great questions of existence and the Gospel message itself, as well as Church teaching.
"The young are especially vulnerable to [society's poor priorities]," Cardinal Clancy said. "World Youth Day will give us all occasion to pause and give deeper thought to the great questions of life and death, the message of the Gospel, and the teaching of the Church"
Senior Chaplain in the Archdiocese of Sydney, Fr Peter Maher, welcomed the Cardinal's statement, saying that his threefold prescription was 'not just right, but in the right order'.
"Cardinal Clancy is on the money," Fr Maher said. "People engage with religion when religion engages with their existential concerns: what is the meaning, the aim of our life? What is moral good, what is sin? What is the purpose of suffering? Which is the road to true happiness? Where do we come from and where are we going?"
But Parramatta's Bishop Kevin Manning cautioned that World Youth Day ought not to be seen as a once off 'cure-all'.
"You don't want to put your money all on one horse," he told Online Catholics yesterday.
Exclusive: Clancy speaks on WYD (Online Catholics 31/8/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Archdiocese of Sydney | Edward Bede Cardinal Clancy AC | World Youth Day
World Youth Day - Australia
World Youth Day - International
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31 Aug 2005