Vatican City (AsiaNews) – YouCat, short for Youth Catechism, is an “extraordinary aide” to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, written in the language of today’s youth, this according to Pope Benedict XVI who penned the book’s forward, which was published in today’s edition of the Osservatore Romano.
“Study the catechism with passion,” he urged young people because they must be deeply rooted in the faith of their parents to resist the temptation of the times and avoid using the latest wounds inflicted on the community of believers by evil and sin inside, even in the heart, of the Church, as a pretext to flee from the sight of God.
For Benedict XVI, the work is an extraordinary book because of its content and format, the product of bishops from around the world working together. In the 1980s, then Card Ratzinger coordinated the editorial work that went into an early edition. Today, he writes, “that not only are continents and peoples’ cultures different, but within individual societies, there are “continents” as well. The outlook of a worker is different from that of a farmer, that of a physicist is different from that of a philologist, that of an entrepreneur is different from that of a journalist, and that of a young person is different from that of an elderly person. For this reason, we had to rise above differences of language and thought to find a common space for different mental universes. This way, we became more aware of how the text had to be “translated” for various worlds in order to reach people with different outlooks and problems.”
“Since then, young people from around who want to believe, who seek God and love Christ, who want to joint paths meet at World Youth Day (in Rome, Toronto, Cologne and Sydney). This is questions were raised as to whether the Catechism of the Catholic Church could be translated into the language of young people and its words penetrate their world.”
“Some people tell me that the youth of today are not interested in the catechism,” the Pope writes. “I do not believe this statement and I am certain that I am right. They are not as superficial as they are accused of being; young people want to know what life really is about.”
“This aide to the catechism does not offer you any empty praise, it does not offer easy solutions, it requires a new life on your part,” the Pope writes. The Gospel message is like a “fine pearl” (Mt, 13:45) to which we must give our all. For this reason, he asks young people to “study the catechism with passion and perseverance! Sacrifice your time for it!” urging them to read silently in their room, with a friend, in a group or a network, exchanging ideas on the Internet and continue to engage in a dialogue on their faith.
“You need to know what you believe in; you need to know your faith with the same precision with which a computer specialist knows the operating system of a computer; you need to know it the way a musician knows his piece. Yes, you must be more deeply rooted in the faith of your parents’ generation to resist forcefully and decisively the challenges and temptations of the times. You need Divine help, so your faith does not dry up like a drop of dew in the sun, so you do not succumb to the temptations of consumerism, so your love is not drowned in pornography, so you do not betray the weak, the victims of abuse and violence.”
YouCat, the Catechism of the Catholic Church for youth, is the official catechism for World Youth Day set for Madrid this year. Edited by the archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, it will be published in seven languages.
As Benedict noted in the forward, the 300-page book is divided into four parts, like the standard catechism, explain, “What Catholics believe,” “How they celebrate the mysteries of the faith”, “How Catholics are to live” and “How they should pray”.
The format includes Questions-and-Answers, with pictures and illustrations, and more, likes quotes from the Scriptures, the Saints and other great teachers of the faith.