Sydney '08 to Defy Moral Relativism, Says Pontiff

Receives Australia's New Ambassador in Audience

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 18, 2006 (Zenit.org).- In their search for the truth, young people who take part in World Youth Day 2008 in Australia will pose a genuine challenge to "moral relativism," says Benedict XVI.



The Pope expressed his hopes for that World Youth Day when he received the letters of credence of Anne Maree Plunkett, Australia's new ambassador to the Holy See.

"As I welcome you to the Vatican my thoughts turn with joy to the visit I shall make, God willing, to Sydney for World Youth Day 2008," said the Holy Father. The Youth Day runs July 15-20 that year.

In this regard, the Bishop of Rome wised to thank "the people of Australia, and particularly the prime minister and government, for the enthusiasm with which they have embraced this visit and for the practical assistance already being given to its organization."

The Pope continued: "In countries such as yours, where the disquieting process of secularization is much advanced, many young people are themselves coming to realize that it is the transcendent order that steers all life along the path of authentic freedom and happiness.

"Against the tide of moral relativism which, by recognizing nothing as definitive, traps people within a futile and insatiable bid for novelty, the young generation is rediscovering the satisfying quest for goodness and truth."

Eclipse

"In so doing," Benedict XVI continued, "they look to both Church and civil leaders to dispel any eclipse of the sense of God and to allow the light of truth to shine forth, giving purpose to all life and making joy and contentment possible for everyone."

He added: "It is this same respect for transcendent order that has led Australians to recognize the fundamental importance of marriage and stable domestic life at the heart of society, and to expect that political and social forces -- including the media and entertainment industries -- recognize, support and protect the irreplaceable value of families.

"They appreciate that pseudo-forms of 'marriage' distort the Creator's design and undermine the truth of our human nature, confusing a false sense of freedom with the true freedom of choosing the definitive gift of the permanent 'yes' which spouses promise to each other."

The Pope commented: "I therefore encourage the people of Australia to continue to take up the challenge of forging a pattern of life, both individually and as a community, in harmony with God's loving plan for all humanity."