Friday, 19 February 2010

Times: Stress on the Pope's teachings

Preparations for Pope Benedict XVI's first visit to Malta are in full swing, as the Church gears up to integrate the run-up to the papal visit with Lent, which starts today.

Various commissions, namely those dealing with youth, children and the laity, will be promoting the Pope and his teachings throughout activities held prior to his visit on April 17 and 18.

Martin Chetcuti, speaking about the activities targeting young people, said the aim was not only to attract practising Catholics but also young people who felt distant from the Church. The activities for young people, the crux of which will be an activity at Valletta Waterfront, are similar to the World Youth Day activities, which are at times criticised for having an element of Pope-worship.

When confronted about such comments and the Church's intention to reach out to people distant from the Church, Fr Savio Vella, the Archbishop's delegate for young people, said the ultimate aim was not to promote the Pope but Jesus.

To this end, the Diocesan Youth Commission will be holding talks at the University, the Junior College and rehabilitation centres where they will be talking to young people about faith-related issues and about the contents of the Pope's teachings. During these talks, free copies of the Pontiff's book, Jesus of Nazareth, will be distributed.

Asked about the Facebook group No to Pope Benedict XVI in Malta, initiated by former Alternattiva Demokratika candidate and gay rights activist Patrick Attard, Fr Vella said that, while they encouraged dialogue with whoever had problems with the Church, the latter would not be taking a militant stance against such initiatives.

A website on the papal visit in Malta, aptly named, was launched yesterday. It updates users on news related to the visit and offers links to pages where people can register for the activities.

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]

No comments:

Post a Comment