A new version of “Youcat,” the hugely popular youth catechism, which has been adapted for young children, was launched at the World Meeting of Families Pastoral Congress in Dublin on Wednesday by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna.
Stressing that it was a “book of faith and not of Facebook”, the Archbishop of Vienna paid tribute to the new publication which he said would be an important resource for children and their parents as “book to read and discuss together”.
Describing the children as “great theologians”, the cardinal said that “from the mouths of children you can get the deepest answers to the biggest questions”.
The preface to the new catechism was written by Pope Francis
Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick and one of the authors of “Youcat for Kids”, Michaela Freifrau von Heeremann, also spoke about the importance of establishing faith within the family.
Speaking to The Tablet, Bishop Leahy suggested that “Youcat for Kids” could also be read by older age groups and that it could “help people who feel disaffected by the faith to look again for see what we are talking about”.
“So often people don’t realize that the church has a view of life and the meaning of life that is not limited to a few issues like sexual morality – it’s a much broader view of life. ”
One of the themes underlying ‘Youcat for Kids’ is caring for the earth. Praising this, Bishop Leahy said, “There is enormous awareness of this environmental issue of Laudato Si,” Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical on the environment.
“There is no doubt that the universal scope of this subject is a sign of the times,” Bishop Leahy said.
The Irish Bishops Laudato Si Committee is currently rolling out specially prepared resources to parishes and schools for the Season of Creation which runs from September 1 to October 4.
Furthermore, an additional interfaith event was integrated into the World Meeting of Families on Friday evening on the theme “Caring for our Common Home”. It will take place at Christ Church Cathedral of the Church of Ireland in Dublin.
On the crisis of Church abuse, Bishop Leahy paid tribute to the many people attending WMOF2018 who were parish delegates or volunteered on church committees. He said the issue of abuse was very much on their minds.
“We have an army of people across Ireland who are parish stewards, parish officers, advisory committees, involved in training programs – we have amazing work in safeguarding. I suspect a lot of people come here with this knowledge about protection and they mourn the pain of people who have been abused. They are very aware of this and they do not want to dismiss it. »
Rabbi Zalman Lent, in his address during the session “In Light of the Word: Celebrating the Family in the Judeo-Christian Tradition,” spoke of the impact of a “highly technological and distracted world” on families. . “How do you make sure you don’t leave God out of the equation if he’s not on Facebook,” he asked, discussing the “unprecedented challenges” facing children today. from the internet and social media.
Amid online pornography and cyberbullying instantly accessible, children need to know they are safe and loved unconditionally, he said. In the Jewish faith, the family home is considered a mini-temple – a safe and sacred space.
Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham was the moderator of the round table “The logic of complementarity: why mothers and fathers matter in Amoris Laetitia”.
Speaking to The Tablet, he explained how at Dublin airport, while waiting to collect his luggage, he and his secretary, father Dominic Cosslett, were approached by a woman who had flown from Birmingham and was accompanying his mother’s coffin in Ireland. for burial.
She told the Archbishop she was so happy he was on the flight considering the importance of her mother’s last trip.
The Archbishop said it underlined to him the practical pastoral role of priests in family life.
On Saturday, the Archbishop will celebrate the 11 a.m. Mass for the 100-person delegation from Birmingham at the University Church in Dublin, founded by Blessed John Henry Newman when he helped establish the Catholic University of Ireland .
The Tablet is at the World Meeting of Families. Come Say “Hello” – Main Exhibit Space – Booth 91