SYDNEY, Australia, JULY 16, 2008 .- Benedict XVI says World Youth Day is an occasion to reflect on what kind of world will be handed on to future generations.
The Pope affirmed this Thursday morning local time at an official welcome ceremony at Sydney's Government House. The Holy Father was received there by Governor-General Michael Jeffery and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his wife Therese.
"Some might ask what motivates thousands of young people to undertake what is for many a long and demanding journey in order to participate in an event of this kind," Benedict XVI said. "Ever since the first World Youth Day in 1986, it has been evident that vast numbers of young people appreciate the opportunity to come together to deepen their faith in Christ and to share with one another a joyful experience of communion in his Church.
"They are eager to take part in an event which brings into focus the high ideals that inspire them, and they return home filled with hope and renewed in their resolve to contribute to the building of a better world."
The Pope affirmed that for him it is a "joy to be with" the youth. "World Youth Day fills me with confidence for the future of the Church and the future of our world," he said. [Source: Zenit.org world Catholic news organization]