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"Springtime of Vatican II" Update

It’s Time to Shut Down World Youth Day

by Christopher A. Ferrara

We are told that one of the great successes of the pontificate of John Paul II was "World Youth Day," which (so the myth goes) revived the faith and millions of young people, thus preparing the way for a "springtime of the Church." But, as John Vennari of Catholic Family News has documented beyond serious dispute, the World Youth Days are the Catholic version of Woodstock: masses of young people horded into co-ed bivouacs to listen to rock music and be tempted by members of the opposite sex.

Yes, there are outdoor "liturgies" and an opportunity to go to confession, but trendy liturgies and confession are available at home. What draws millions to WYD is the Woodstock of it all.

When all is said and done, WYD is simply not a Catholic event in any traditional sense of the word. The idea is to have "young people" come and meet the Pope, but the reality is that WYD is an assault on innocence, personal dignity and Roman Catholicism.

Nor is this likely to change under the new pontificate. In fact, WYD’s aberrancy appears to be getting worse. As Catholic News Agency (CNA) reported on August 5, 2005, "the Christian rock band from Argentina, Rescate, which boasts of being ‘the only Hispanic artists that will participate in the closing concert for the XX World Youth Day,’ criticized Pope Benedict XVI, who will be the central figure at the celebrations in Cologne, Germany."

Incredibly enough, the band stated in an interview on the Chilean website, "Musica123," that "Personally, we don’t think the Pope is God’s representative on earth. Jesus came to do away with any intermediary between God and man, and therefore we have a direct relationship with Him."

In a perfect summation of what the Pope has become in the eyes of the world after forty years of "ecumenism" and "dialogue," the band’s vocalist, one Ulises Eyherabide, added: "To me the Pope’s strength is more political than spiritual…. Replacing John Paul II obviously has more of a political than a spiritual significance."

Asked whether they were even Catholic, the band members reportedly said: "We are followers of Christ beyond any specific identity. You can define yourself as a Catholic and be … I don’t know … Today we have a Pope who in theory represents the entire Church. Nevertheless, there are those who say this is not the case. Therefore, why divide Jesus even more when in reality He came for all of mankind? Religion is responsible for creating these differences." This from a band that hails from an overwhelmingly Catholic country. And yet, we are asked to believe, WYD "revives" the faith of young people.

With evident dismay, CNA notes that "Not only will Rescate represent the majority of Catholic Spanish-speaking peoples of the world at the closing concert for World Youth Day on August 21, the band’s song ‘Quitamancha’ will be included on the official WYD CD entitled ‘Building One World’ which will remind young people for years to come of the largest Catholic event in the world, with Pope Benedict XVI being the central figure in attendance."

As this column went to press, CNA/CWNews.com reported that Rescate had been dropped from the WYD program. That, so far as it goes, is good news. But it is time for the Vatican to recognize the obvious: that World Youth Day is just another novelty of the post-conciliar epoch that undermines the Catholic faith and promotes the error of religious indifferentism. It is not enough that "Rescate" be removed from WYD 2005’s roster of rock bands. The event should be converted to an open air but dignified Pontifical Mass offered for the conversion of the world. And all the rock music should be banned.

But if the Vatican made those changes, hundreds of thousands of "young people" wouldn’t come to WYD to have their faith "revived," would they? That fact alone tells us why WYD should be shut down once and for all.