Cologne's World Youth Day Will Reflect a "Living Church"

Says Father Francis Kohn of the Pontifical Council for the Laity

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ROME, JULY 27, 2003 ( Cologne’s 2005 World Youth Day will be important to help Europe rediscover Christian values in a time of constant change, says a Vatican aide.

Father Francis Kohn, in charge of the youth section of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, expressed this conviction when addressing the recent symposium here on the «University and Church in Europe.»

«WYD is a very important event, which the Holy Father convokes every two to three years, to invite young people to pray and give witness together with him,» he explains in the Web page «It is an outstanding event not only for the Church but for the whole society,» he said.

It also represents an opportunity for young people to «discover a living, young Church that prays and encourages them in daily life, at the University, and at work, to be Christians and witnesses of their faith,» he added.

Moreover, preparation for WYD is a spiritual journey that will be undertaken until 2005, according to the theme indicated by the Holy Father: «We Have Come to Adore Him» (Matthew 2:2).

«WYDs respond to the hopes of young people and mark the beginning of a new culture open to transcendence, to the universality of the worldwide Church, to globalization, which appeals to young people to be committed with courage to go against the current in a society that is no longer Christian in its totality,» Father Kohn said.

«Cologne will be an occasion to celebrate a ‘festival of the Faith,'» Father Georg Austen added, who is the Secretary of the 2005 WYD organizing committee.

The meeting offers an atmosphere of friendship and an opportunity «to debate questions relating to our daily life, hopes for the future, and the Christian answers to the realities in each country, discussing what is possible to do together, as a unit of the Church,» he stressed.

«We are confident of giving a warm welcome. We await with open arms all young people who wish to attend. There is room for all. Welcome to Germany!», he concluded.

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