Christ Has Key to Hope, Pontiff Tells Youth

Pontiff Sends Message to Ecumenical Taizé Meeting

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 11, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is telling youth who will gather in Geneva for an ecumenical encounter organized by the Taizé Community that only Christ can give the key to true hope.

The Pope affirmed this in a message sent in his name by his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, to the Taizé encounter that will gather some 40,000 youth in Switzerland from Dec. 28 to Jan. 1.

The program includes moments of prayer, silence, song and testimonies from the ecumenical community of Taizé, founded in 1940 in France by Brother Roger.

"Dear young people gathered in Geneva by the Taizé Community for a new stage of the pilgrimage of trust on earth launched by Brother Roger, the Pope assures you of his spiritual closeness and asks the Lord that these days may be for you a time of grace and a powerful experience of Church," the papal message affirmed.

It continued: "In going to meet the people of God that is welcoming you, as well as in times of prayer and meeting, you are invited to open new paths of hope, by drawing from the Word of God and from an intimacy with Christ. Only Christ gives us the key to true hope, the hope which surpasses all the little hopes we can have, for he turns us towards the future and towards the eternal happiness towards which we walk each day, personally and as the Church.

"May your trust in God foster hope in you and help you to change the world by rooting you in Gospel values, particularly in forgiveness, the culmination of love, for whoever forgives does not stop at the fault committed but opens a new future.

"If peace is the fruit of justice, it is still more the fruit of forgiveness that truly seals reconciliation between those who yesterday mistrusted or opposed one another, enabling them to go forward together. By accepting God's forgiveness given to us in the sacrament, you will be able in your turn to be creators of forgiveness between brothers and sisters and build a reconciled world."