Schönborn: It is my second time in Brazil. The first time I was here in 1996, and I see a country that is full of live, a Church that is a kind of explosion of vitality. I see so many new communities growing in Brazil. I hear, and I see that there are many challenges, many social challenges but I have the impression that the Christians and specially the Catholic Church in this country is capable with the help of God and with the help of Pope Francis and the inspiration of Pope Francis to bring to Brazil a real new evangelization. I give you just one example: The first day I was here, I went to one of the big churches here in Rio and to my joy and amazement, I saw so many young people in deep prayer, really in deep prayer. And I had the impression that for them, prayer is so naturally a part of their life, it is so integrated in their lives that it makes me very hopeful for this country. Thus, I can only bless the Lord for all the good that is growing in this country and especially I am grateful for all the work of Aid to the Church In Need which is such a magnificent work.
ACN: Your Eminence, you just visited our stand where the YOUCAT is being promoted.Can you tell more about its origin and what you think about its promotion on WYD Rio 2013?
Schönborn: YOUCAT is a kind of miracle. It happened, it just happened. Therewere some people who had the courage to try to produce, starting with the big Catechism of the Church and with the Compendium of the Catholic Church, to start a real catechism for young people. And as the Holy Father Pope Benedict said in his preface, at the beginning he had himself great doubts about the possibility to produce the catechism of the Catholic Church, the big one. But then, he saw the miracle that this catechism came to life, and he said, it is kind of a similar miracle that has happened for the YOUCAT. His support was very very important from the very beginning. He was encouraging the project. And through his encouragement, many obstacles could be overcome, because there were many obstacles. I think with the blessing of Pope Benedict, this book has become an immense success worldwide: 27 translations, probably in the meantime even more, all around the world, and such an encouragement was what the blessed Pope John Paul always dreamed of: The new evangelization. With the young, for the young and through the young. The YOUCAT is simply a blessing.
ACN: Your eminence, 1.5 million copies of the YOUCAT were distributed for free by Aid to the Church in Need to the Brazilian young people. What do you think about this initiative?
Schönborn: First I would say that Pope Benedict insisted so much that the YOUCAT be given to all the young people in Madrid, and it was a gift from Aid to the Church in Need to Pope Benedict to make it possible through this big donation in 2011. It was possible to hand over to 1 million young people the YOUCAT in main languages, and now, you have surpassed by far the gift of Pope Benedict from Pope Benedict in Madrid, again thanks to Aid to the Church in Need in Brazil. I think that Fr. Werenfried, probably, in heaven, is applauding the donations from so many persons were used for this purpose. He insisted on catechesis which was a core need of his work. I think he would be in great joy and happiness, and he is, actually, very happy to see the success of YOUCAT and not only in Brazil.
- YOUCAT will reach 40,000 North American Catholic teens this summer (insightscoop.typepad.com)
- New from Ignatius Press: “YOUCAT Study Guide” (insightscoop.typepad.com)
- “We see a drive for the renewal of the faith in all corners of the earth” (aidchurch.wordpress.com)
- In just 40 days the 28th World Youth Day will begin in Rio de Janeiro (aidchurch.wordpress.com)