Vatican Spokesman Speaks on Youth's Need for Hope

Notes Pope’s Address to New Generations

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 8, 2009 ( Youth today need a great hope capable of unmasking the idolatry of money, career and success, says the Vatican spokesman.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, affirmed this in his editorial on the latest episode of «Octava Dies,» in which he commented on Benedict XVI’s message for World Youth Day, planned for Palm Sunday.

He explained: «Of course the Pope is returning to his last encyclical, ‘Spe Salvi’: that is, we are saved in hope; but he is specifically addressing new generations, naturally open to ideals, dreams, plans, those who can and must find a way to translate hope into concrete signs in the course of the years to come.»

The priest quoted the Pope, who said, «The question of hope is truly central to our lives as human beings and our mission as Christians, especially in these times.» Father Lombardi noted that the Pontiff awakens «the sense of responsibility in young people» by saying that «youth is the time when decisive choices concerning the rest of our lives come to fruition.»

The spokesman noted that the Pope is inviting young people to «go beyond little ephemeral hopes to give their hearts to the ‘great hope’ that gives meaning to existence, the hope founded on Jesus Christ and his Gospel.»

He added: «On this solid basis one can learn how to be patient and perseverant, to unmask the idolatry of money, career and success, to put personal abilities at the service of the common good, truth, love for one’s neighbor.

«Youth must be the time of joy; but without hope, joy isn’t possible. The authentic Christian is never sad — even if he must face difficult trials — because the presence and friendship of Christ is the secret of his joy and his peace.

«The Church continues to invite the young people of the world to look ahead.»

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