Monday, 21 July 2008 12:30
Written by Joe Waters
By now most of you have heard that Pope Benedict has designated Madrid, Spain as the host city for World Youth Day 2011. Early reports from the Spanish Episcopal Conference are that the event is slated for August 15-21, 2011. If that report is true, those dates could pose some problems for Americans wishing to go, since many schools and universities in this country now start around that time. Also, I am sure that many are disappointed to hear that WYD '11 will be hosted yet again by a European city (the second time in Spain) even though WYD has never been held in Africa and it has been some time since it was held in Asia or South America. However, if we look closely at the situation of the Catholic Church in Spain and the increased antagonism towards the Church by the Zapatero government, not to mention the increasing secularism and embattled position of the Catholic Church and traditional Christian morality, WYD '11 has great potential to effect real progress in efforts to re-evangelize Spain.
In an interview with Zenit Nineteen year-old Paola Callas said
"It's so necessary that Madrid may be able to experience a living Church as we have done here in Sydney over this week," said Callas.
"People don't associate the Church with relevance, joy or even fun over in Spain," added Ramírez. "We have a lot of political upheavals and secularism taking over the contemporary climate so it would be relevant for youth to experience the truths of the Church in a package like that of World Youth Day."
This announcement must mean a lot and be very encouraging for Spanish Catholics who have surely been discouraged by what has transpired in their country over the past several years.