Wednesday, August 17, 2005

European Christians Accused of being Caught in State of Self-Pity
Posted: Wednesday, August 17 , 2005, 9:05 (UK)

Pope Benedict XVI has warned that Europe’s Christians are in a state of “self-condemnation” in a historic interview in the run up to World Youth Day.

The interview with Eberhard von Gemmingen, confidant and head of Vatican Radio’s German service is the first of his pontificate but also the first full-length interview given by any sitting pontiff.

In the interview the Pope said the aim of this week’s World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, was to create “a wave of new faith among young people, especially the youth in Germany and Europe.”

He also addressed some of the problems facing the Catholic Church, saying that in “modern western society” there were many “lead weights” turning people away from the Christian faith.

The Pope said that despite the existence of numerous large Christian organisations in Germany there was still “a great fatigue and we are so concerned with structural questions that the zest and the joy of faith are missing”.

Around 800,000 Catholic youths from 192 countries around the world are expected to attend the event, with the Pope due to join the celebrations on Thursday. This will be the first visit foreign visit of his pontificate.

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