Diversity replaces unity as a mark of the Church at World Youth Day

"The church is not a unitary bloc," says Gregor Podschun, chairman of the BDKJ, with a view to World Youth Day in Lisbon. He is enthusiastic about the diversity and the international encounters and experiences that young people can gain there.

The chairman of the Federation of German Catholic Youth (BDKJ), Gregor Podschun, is impressed by the World Youth Day in Portugal. "I'm totally thrilled that so many people from so many nations are walking the streets and showing how colorful the church and faith are," said Podschun in an interview with the Catholic News Agency (KNA) in Lisbon. The diversity of the church is shown at World Youth Day. "The church is not a unitary block," says Podschun.

Many young people, especially in the German pilgrimage center, have inquiries to the church and made it clear that they want to work for their church. "The events here, which are about changing the church, are very well attended," says Podschun. 

"My impression is that World Youth Day is not as conservative as one might think."

Disappointment over abuse statements from the Pope

The international meeting in Lisbon creates peace and reconciliation between nations, according to the BDKJ national chairman. In addition, the whole experience is valuable for the development of young people.

The BDKJ federal chairman called the previous statements by Pope Francis on abuse at WYD disappointing. Francis put the focus on the church and its reputation and not on what was done to those affected. "A total institutional focus," says Podschun.


Cathcon: The four marks of the Church are Unity, Holiness, Catholicity and Apostolicity.  All have suffered during the reign of Francis.


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