Welcoming Pope Benedict’s approach to the young people and at the heels of the World Youth Day in Sydney next week wherein he will be personally present, Cardijn Community International (CCI) called for concrete steps on the part of the Vatican to prove their real interests in the lives and actions of the young people.
M. J. Ruben, International Convenor of the CCI who is in Australia to organise certain post WYD events on behalf of the CCI.
Recalling the background to the World Youth Day, Mr. M. J. Ruben in his statement issued in Melbourne said Cardinal Joseph Cardijn, the founder of the International Young Christian Workers Movement (IYCW) demonstrated the power of the young people by organising a Pilgrimage to Rome in 1957 in which 32,000 youth from around the world gathered. Pope Pius XII received them with much enthusiasm. In fact, this was a pre-cursor to the World Youth Day founded by Pope John Paul II in 1984.
Cardijn, who was born at the height of industrial revolution in Europe, founded a movement for young workers whose lives dramatically changed as they entered the world of work and the Church almost lost them. Today, even after 83 years since the official founding of the IYCW, the situation of the young people around the world has not changed for the better. Globalisation is aimed at maximising profit of the rich nations and global enterprises and in this game, young people become vulnerable targets. Gadgets and gizmos rule majority of the young people and they live in total isolation from what is happening around them. In this fast moving world, there is no time for inter personal relationship and more than ever, no place for intimate union with the Creator.
The International Convener said that more than ever the Church needs the young people and the young people need the Church to guide them. World Youth Day should not become a periodical ritual but a symbol of the commitment of the Church to the youth. According to CCI, Vatican should encourage and rejuvenate the existing youth organizations viz. YCS, YCW, MIJARC and IMCS. The time-tested SEE-JUDGE-ACT methodology promoted by Cardijn needs to be reinforced in the contemporary situation where people seek “ready made solutions” to life’s problems at the touch of a button.
“In the face of acute shortage of clergy to engage in the formation of young people, the vast reservoir of already formed lay leaders from such movements should be utilised by the Church in this crucial mission,” Mr MJ Ruben observed in his statement, adding that “time is running out and we must act fast”.
“What we need today is not just celebration of Church’s identification with the youth but a demonstration of their commitment”.
Cardijn Community International is one such network that aims to link all those who have been formed through Cardijn founded and inspired movements around the world.
July 12, 2008 Melbourne