The 34th World Youth Days took place in Panama from January 22 to 27, 2019; inaugurated by John Paul II in 1985, the 2019 WYD went mostly unnoticed by the flood of daily information. FSSPX.News offers its readers some food for thought.
A comment by the Archbishop of Rouen sums up the WYD that just came to an end: “We have left behind a giantism that had its limits,” remarked Archbishop Dominique Lebrun. And everyone knows that quantity does not necessarily mean quality.
The Holy See’s official website itself recognized this, without giving any numbers: “In purely numerical terms, (the 2019 WYD) cannot compare with those in Manila, Rome, Rio or Krakow, that drew impressive crowds.”
This 26th apostolic journey enabled Pope Francis to deliver his message with three approaches.
First of all, for the young people, the Holy Father described the evils of our times, “the muffled cry of children kept from being born”, “a spiral of death as a result of drugs, alcohol, prostitution and human trafficking”, and warned them of the dangers of living in the virtual reality of the internet. In the face of these daily evils, deplored the pope, the “world is caught up in comfortable cynicism and in the drama of its own frivolity.”
For the 70 bishops who gathered on January 24 to hear what the pope had to say to them on the political and social violence that is currently rampant on the South American continent, along with economic misery and the increasing proliferation of evangelical sects that are winning over more and more young people, the pope stated:
“Support and empower your young people (…) before the culture of death can entice their young minds, taking advantage of their restlessness, selling them its smoke and mirrors, or offering its chimerical ‘solutions’ to all their problems. (…) Continue to speak out against the cultural and spiritual desertification of your towns,” declared the sovereign pontiff to the bishops.
And thirdly, to the priests, who met with the pope on January 26, he spoke of the decrease in the number of vocations, admitting that the fatigues of the apostolate can cause “a weariness that paralyzes”, that gives rise to the worst and comes from “not knowing how to react to the intense and confusing changes that we as a society are experiencing” and that “call into doubt the very viability of religious life in today’s world.”
Fidelity to the Tradition of the Church, deepening our understanding of the Faith and the mysteries of salvation, the urgent need to spread the social kingship of Christ… These are just a few points that could have been suggested as guidelines to help avoid the pitfall of the evils threatening contemporary society, evils that the Vicar of Christ mostly contented himself with describing.
Consequently, although exhorted to commitment by an enthusiastic pope, “many young people do not yet know how this call to commit will come into play in their lives once they have returned home,” concluded Nicolas Senèze in the columns of La Croix.