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Pontifical council’s conference opens with rock performance

February 07, 2013

Members of the Pontifical Council for Culture have assembled for a conference devoted to “Emerging Youth Cultures.”

The conference opened with a performance by The Sun, described in media accounts as an Italian Christian punk rock group. “We will have our cardinals, bishops, and consultors, these highbrow intellectual men and women of culture, engaging with the youth through the language of music,” said Richard Rouse, an official of the pontifical council.

Rouse told Vatican Radio that Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the pontifical council’s president, “has been trying to engage with the music of [the late English singer] Amy Winehouse in the last few days, and he’s very interested in finding out what are the expectations of the youth, what is their language, what is this desire, this very strong passionate emotional will to participate in life and the drama of life, but at the same time it’s not engaging with the Church.”

Rouse added, “Why is there this breakdown in the transmission of the faith? Why are we not able to talk to them in a language that they can understand?”


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  • Posted by: koinonia - Feb. 07, 2013 7:27 PM ET USA

    For anyone paying attention, there is a tremendous amount of darkness among youth. The vampire literature, films, imagery etc. is pervasive. At a local high school two underclassmen have committed suicide since August. A recent hit says ": "Let's make the most of the night like we're gonna die young!" It's not a mystery; a dark angel has been invited, intentionally or not. Is there any reason that these world-wise, jaded youth might distrust the clergy these days? We are all hurting.

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Feb. 07, 2013 10:39 AM ET USA

    Oh boy. Where to begin... An "Italian Christian punk rock group"? How about an Indo-Icelandic bossa-nova heavy-metal waltz ensemble? Mr. Rouse, for "the youth" to understand, they first must want to understand. The Church's "language" is not the problem. P. S. Remind Cardinal Ravasi that Amy Winehouse is dead. Her music is over for most of the folks you want to reach. They've moved on to something else.

  • Posted by: Defender - Feb. 07, 2013 10:38 AM ET USA

    Why doesn't the Church understand that since the 1960's, CCD and Catholic schools have done terrible jobs teaching the Faith. Our youth has little background or knowledge of the most rudimentary elements of what we believe - just ask them. Part of the reason is that many of the teachers and administrators (and some priests) today know only slightly more than they can teach. Having taught for some years, using the Baltimore Catechism is a great way to begin to convey the Faith.