VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI urged young people not to abandon their faith in God because of the “attacks of evil” within the church.
“Carry intact the fire of your love in this church every time that men have obscured her face,” he said in a foreword to a new catechism edited specifically for young people.
The new “Youth Catechism,” also called “YouCat,” will be included in each pilgrim backpack for World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid.
The pope said he wanted to supplement the Catechism of the Catholic Church by translating it “into the language of young people and make its words penetrate their world.”
In the foreword, the pope urged everyone to study the catechism “with passion and perseverance” either alone, in study groups or in exchanges with others online.
Today’s Christians really need to understand their faith more than ever before in order to resist modern day challenges and temptations, he wrote.
“You have need of divine help if you do not want your faith to dry up as a dewdrop in the sun, if you do not want to succumb to the temptations of consumerism, if you do not want your love to be drowned in pornography, if you do not want to betray the weak and the victims of abuse and violence,” he wrote.
“You must know what you believe; you must know your faith with the same precision with which a specialist in information technology knows the (operating) system of a computer; you must know it as a musician knows his piece,” the foreword said.
While not specifically mentioning the clerical sex abuse crisis, the pope acknowledged the effect it has had on the faithful and said “the community of believers has been wounded in recent times by the attacks of evil” and sin in the heart of the church.
“Do not take this as a pretext to flee from God’s presence; you yourselves are the body of Christ, the church!” he told young people.