Today, Pope Benedict has sent a message to the people of Brazil to mark their “Fraternity Campaign” which they hold each year. Looking towards World Youth Day in Brazil this Summer, this year’s theme is “Fraternity and youth”.
He speaks of the need for the Church to fully recognise young people and their present role in the Church, and the need for those of us who minister to them to “walk without imposing a march”.
“The ‘signs of the times’ in society and in the Church also arise through the youth. Disregarding these signs, or not discerning them, means losing opportunities for renewal. If they are part of the present then they will also be part of the future. We want the youth to be protagonists and to be integrated into the community that welcomes them, which demonstrates the confidence that the Church has in each of them.
“This requires guides (priests, consecrated persons, or lay persons) who remain young at heart even if they are not young in age, who are capable of walking without imposing a march, capable of solidarity and empathy, capable of giving the witness of salvation, which is nourished by faith and the following of Christ every day.”