This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.
Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index
BBC Learning English Launch BBC Media Player
  • Help
  • Text only
You are in:Learning English > News English > Words in the News
Learning English - Words in the News
22 August, 2005 - Published 16:16 GMT
Pope's message to youth festival
Pope Benedict

Before leaving Germany at the end of his first foreign trip, Pope Benedict XVI described a plan for the future of the Roman Catholic Church in a society which he said was turning away from Christianity. This report from David Willey:

Listen to the story

At the end of Cologne's Catholic Youth Festival, the Pope gave a basically optimistic yet unusually realistic vision for the future of the Church. Catholic ethics and morals are in constant decline, he said. But this gathering of young people from around the world had challenged and stimulated him to think about the future, both of the Church and of society.

Benedict said young people are asking their pastors to be consistent, united and courageous. They're not looking, he said, for a Church which panders to youth, but one which is truly young in spirit. There can be no compromise, no watering down of the Christian gospel, he insisted. Earlier, in a homily, at the open-air Mass, he rejected what he called "do-it-yourself religion".

David Willey, BBC News, Cologne

Listen to the words

vision for the future
imagined picture or plan of the future

in constant decline
getting weaker all the time

group of people meeting for a particular purpose

ministers in charge of a Christian church

panders to youth
does what young people want, or tries to please them, especially when this is not acceptable or reasonable

young in spirit
lively and full of energy

watering down
making weaker or less forceful

a homily
a speech in which someone complains about something or tells people how they ought to behave

open-air Mass
in the Roman Catholic Church, Mass is the ceremony in which bread and wine is consecrated and eaten by people in the congrgation in remembrance of Christ's death and resurrection; an open-air Mass is held outside in a large public space and is usually attended by thousands of people

if something is "do-it-youself", it is done by an amateur at home

Other Stories