Although it’s still a year away, Pope Benedict XVI has published a message for the World Youth Days of 2011 in Madrid. In a way the timing works: the pope’s message is very much an invitation and offers a decent selections of suggestion and thoughts that can help in preparing for the event. And since one usually sends invitations way in advance of the actual party, this message does the trick. The original text can be read via the Vatican website, while my translation into Dutch is here.
While working on the translation, it struck me how well the pope can address young people. Of course, the fact that he has a way with words is no surprise, but in addressing young people it becomes clear that he treats them as equals. He acknowledges, logically, that they are not adults, but he does not talk down to them. That results in a text that is both mature and challenging, as well as engaging for its intended audience.