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By Deacon Keith Fournier

2/7/2011 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (

YOUCAT is an accessible, contemporary expression of the Catholic Faith.

Given his diminutive stature and humble demeanor, many predicted that Pope Benedict XVI would not have the same effect on the youth of the world as did his predecessor, the Venerable John Paul II. Time has proven them absolutely wrong. The youth have a special love for this wonderful Pope. This is evident in the constantly expanding crowds of youth at World Youth Days as well as on his many apostolic visits around the globe. Now, he gives them their own Catechism of the faith. 

'YouCat' is short for 'Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church'

"YouCat" is short for "Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church"


By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (

2/7/2011 (4 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: YouCat, Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, World Youth day, new Evangelization, Deacon Keith Fournier

VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - I will never forget hearing those words, "Habemus Papem", "We Have a Pope!" The Cardinal announced them on April 19, 2005 to a waiting world. Pope Benedict XVI stepped forward onto the balcony overlooking St. Peters Square calling himself  "a simple, humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord."

The applause was uproarious. The joy filled not only that Square but the hearts of millions throughout the entire world who had prayed for this moment. He continued, " that the Lord can work and act even with insufficient means consoles me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers. In the joy of the risen Lord, trusting in his permanent help, we go forward." And we have gone forward. On that day I wrote, "Pope Benedict XVI is a gift from heaven. I believe that he will be a builder, through whom the great treasure left by his predecessor will become reality. I also believe he will surprise many, particularly in the area of ecumenism. He will dynamically lead the Church into a Catholic Millennium and we will see the springtime that his predecessor, our beloved Pope John Paul, prophetically anticipated." "We will witness the beginnings of the coming full communion of the Church. We will witness the recovery of the Catholic academy through the rebuilding of some institutions almost lost to the Church and the building of new ones. We will see the flourishing of good, solid theological and philosophical work along with a flourishing of the arts and human culture, led by the Church, as it has been in ages past. He will be like his namesake and help to bring the Christian influence back to Europe and beyond." Given his diminutive stature and humble demeanor, many predicted that Pope Benedict XVI would not have the same effect on the youth of the world as did his predecessor, the Venerable John Paul II. Time has proven them absolutely wrong. In fact, the youth of the church seem to have a special love for this wonderful Pope. This is evident in the constantly expanding crowds of youth at World Youth Days as well as on his many apostolic visits around the globe. Pope Benedict's allocutions since taking office have often been directed to the young. His paternal care and deep conviction that they will carry forward the vital work of the Church in what he views as a new missionary age permeates his inspiring and challenging calls to the young to heroically follow Jesus Christ.  He knows they are being called by the Lord to proclaim the liberating message of the fullness of the Gospel as found within the Catholic Church - in their words and in the compelling witness of their lives. Now, he has the joy and privilege of completing a task begun under his predecessor in the Chair of Peter, Pope John Paul II. Pope Benedict XVI has written the forward to - and become a tremendous advocate and booster for - "YouCat."  This is short for "Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church." As evident in his inspiring forward, the Pope has great confidence and hope in the Young and sees this Youth Catechism as essential for the Church. Pope Benedict XVI knows that the new Evangelization of the Church, and her ongoing mission to the whole world into which she has been sent to continue the redemptive mission of the Lord Jesus, will be entrusted to the young. His enthusiastic endorsement of the Youth Catechism is a part of his apostolic ministry as the successor of Peter and the Vicar of Christ. Expect this Catechism to become the mainstay of youth catechesis in the global Catholic Church. 

Below is the announcement released on Thursday, February 3, 2011, by Vatican Radio: *****
"Some people tell me that the youth of today are not interested in the catechism, but I do not believe this statement and I am certain that I am right. They are not as superficial as they are accused of being; young people want to know what life really is about. A crime novel is compelling because it involves the fate of other people, but it could be our own, this book is compelling because it speaks to us of our own destiny and therefore is closely related to each of us". These the words of Pope Benedict XVI in the forward to a book, soon to be published in 7 languages, entitled "YouCat," short for Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is the official catechism for World Youth Day. Written for high-school age people and young adults, YOUCAT is an accessible, contemporary expression of the Catholic Faith. The popular format includes Questions-and-Answers, highly-readable commentary, margin pictures and illustrations, summary definitions of key terms, Bible citations, and quotes from the Saints and other great teachers. The project, in the Pope's own words, was first entrusted to the Congregation for Bishops, by his predecessor John Paul II. It took its origin from another work dating back to the 1980s, a period Pope Benedict XVI describes in his forward as "difficult ...for the Church as well as for global society, during which the need emerged for new approaches to find a way forward towards the future."  After Vatican II (1962-1965) and in the changed cultural climate, he notes, "many people did not know what Christians should really believe, what the Church teaches, if it can teach something outright, and how this might fit into the new cultural climate." Thus, John Paul II entrusted his successor with the task of coordinating the work of bishops, theologians and young people into a book, edited by the Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn. Pope Benedict writes that he "was afraid of this task," and confesses his doubts that "it would succeed", describing its existence as something of a "miracle", the labour of many meetings and "passionate discussions over individual texts."  He then goes on to express the hope that young people will allow themselves to be "captivated" by the catechism, and his certainty that they are far more interested in it than most believe. In fact he writes; "This aide to the catechism does not offer you any empty praise, it does not offer easy solutions, it requires a new life on your part." He asks young people to "study the catechism with passion and perseverance! Sacrifice your time for it!" The Pope Benedict continues; "You need to know what you believe, you need to know your faith with the same precision with which a computer specialist knows the operating system of a computer. You need Divine help, so your faith does not dry up like a drop of dew in the sun, so you do not succumb to the temptations of consumerism, so your love is not drowned in pornography, so you do not betray the weak, the victims of abuse and violence." In one last piece of advice Pope Benedict XVI goes right to the heart of many young people's concerns about and disillusionment with the Church. He writes; "You all know how the community of believers was recently wounded by the attacks of evil, by the penetration of sin within, within the very heart of the Church. Do not make this an excuse to escape the sight of God, you yourselves are the body of Christ, the Church! Bring the wholesome fire of your love to this church every time men obscure its face. "Do not be lazy in zeal, let the Spirit ignite and serve the Lord." (Rom 12, 11)


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