Vian: Pope's Message to Youth Shows "Wisdom"

Laments Media's Misunderstanding of Text

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VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 6, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The message Benedict XVI sent last week to youth was written with a "passion" for life and with the "wisdom" of someone who has met Christ, says the director of L'Osservatore Romano.



Giovanni Maria Vian said this today in an editorial in the Italian edition of the semi-official Vatican newspaper, offering brief comments on the letter the Pope sent for the World Youth Day to be held next August in Madrid, Spain.

The director affirmed that the message, which the Pope presented Sunday during his weekly Angelus address, "presents many signs of that wisdom that Benedict XVI has defined above all as characteristic of papal teaching and described as a combination of 'faith and life, truth and concrete reality.'"
 
"Thus, in a culture 'undecided in regard to profound values,' the Pope has again presented as the resolution the encounter with Jesus sustained by the faith of the Church," he said.

Vian described the message as a "passionate text full of personal testimonies: from the memory of the [World Youth Day] in Sydney to that distant one of a youth asphyxiated by the Nazi dictatorship and desirous of overcoming the 'normality of the bourgeois life' in the encounter with Christ."
 
The letter was "written with the inexhaustible passion of a life," Vian concluded. "And with the wisdom of one who truly has encountered Christ."

Misinterpretation

Vian lamented that the media "neglected or misunderstood" the Pontiff's message, a concern that was also echoed by Marco Tarquinio, the director of the daily newspaper of the Italian bishops, Avvenire.

Several Italian newspapers focused their attention on the Holy Father's assertion that "part of being young is desiring something beyond everyday life and a secure job, a yearning for something really truly greater."

The Italian news agency AdnKronos ran a headline that stated: "A Stable Job Doesn't Bring Happiness, It's Better to Believe in God." The Italian daily La Repubblica asserted a similar sentiment: "Faith Comes Before a Stable Job." Another Italian newspaper, La Stampa, published an article with the following headline: "A Stable Job Isn't Everything, Believe in God."
 
"We opened the newspapers and we were stunned," Tarquinio said in comments posted on the Avvenire's Web page. "The Pope's message is passed off as an invitation to precariousness."
 
Tarquinio addressed journalists asking them to respect young people and what the Pope writes to them, and called for a better "comprehension of the texts."

"To write articles it's not enough to be able to write, one must be able to read," he stated. "And one must read what is really written, and not just what one would like to have been written."

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On ZENIT's Web page:

Benedict XVI's Message: zenit.org/article-30244?l=english