World Day exists because young people want the Church to be different

Wednesday, March 1, 2023 - 14:10
Correio do Minho

Symbols of the World Youth Day were at Braga's academy yesterday. At the Catholic University, the moment was used to reflect on the expectations of young people in relation to the current situation of the Church.


The symbols of the World Youth Day (WYD) passed yesterday through the three higher education institutions installed in Braga. The cross and the icon of Our Lady, which during the month of February visited the Diocese of Braga, were received at the Regional Center of the Catholic University of Portugal, at the University of Minho and at the Polytechnic Institute of Cávado e Ave (IPCA), in a journey ended. at the Centro Pastoral Universitário, with a mass presided over by the primate archbishop, D.?José Cordeiro, and a get-together animated by several academic tunas.
At the reception for the WYD symbols, in the master class of the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences, the Jesuit priest Nélson Faria reflected on some of the “great questions” that young people would like to see answered in the great event scheduled for August 1st to 6th , in Lisbon.

'How can we guarantee that there will be no more sexual abuse and cover-up in the Church?', one of the questions presented, led the Jesuit priest to declare that those situations constitute “a black page of our history”, but that the data in the report presented by the Commission Independent for the Study of Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church in Portugal can lead to the “implementation of a new culture of care” and the hope of “a new life” that “covers the desert created by abuse”.

In a session in which testimonies of two participants in previous editions of WYD were presented, Nélson Faria, who works in the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network (RMOP), and in the projects 'Passo-a-Rezar' and 'Click to Pray-Portugal' , stated that that event exists “because the youth want to change the Church, because the Youth want the Church to be something different”. According to the priest, “it is not young people who need the Church, it is the Church that needs young people”, considering that these “have an ambition that is lacking in the corridors of the Vatican and in the Episcopal Palace, which is lacking in our sacristies, our liturgies ”.

Eduardo Duque, the head of the Pastoral University Center of Braga, highlighted yesterday as “important to arouse some curiosity in university students” about WYD in the face of “the serious risk of seeing a set of news, every day, about WYD , which are anything but what really matters”.
João Duque, pro-rector of the UCP, considered, for his part, that this university is an environment where the passage of WYD symbols makes “a lot of sense”, raising awareness among young people of their role “in the future of the planet”.