Pell calls on youth to be spiritually prepared
As planning for the world's largest youthfest gathers momentum, Sydney's Archbishop George Pell's main concern is not the logistics of the mammoth event, rather the spiritual preparation of young Australians.
While Archbishop Pell anticipates there will be difficulties involved in hosting up to a half-million people for World Youth Day 2008, he is confident that the July 15-20 celebration will be well organized, the Catholic Online reported.
"The most important challenge is the spiritual and religious preparation," he said.
"In the 2006 census, nineteen percent of Australians did not claim a religion, up 2 percent from the previous count.
"An increasing minority of young Australians and other Australians are tempted to believe that you can live a good life without God - there's an erosion of faith and practice."
Archbishop Pell said he had personally witnessed "deep conversions" in youths at World Youth Day in Rome in 2000.
"One of the great blessings that the World Youth Day will give us is that it will present the one true God to us, remind us of the teaching and the role of Christ, the only Son of God, and generally place spiritual values in the public domain."
World Youth Day prep means spiritual readiness, cardinal says
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World Youth Day 2008