Pope says he's no rock star and Catholic youth gatherings are more than just a party
VATICAN CITY , Dec. 30, 2008 (www.startribune.com) - He may draw adoring crowds, but Pope Benedict XVI said Monday he's no rock star.
And the Catholic Church's World Youth Day celebrations, which take place every three years in different cities around the globe, are more than just a party for young faithful, he said.
Benedict's predecessor Pope John Paul II, often described as having a rock star-like following among Catholic youth, began the World Youth Days to inspire the faithful.
"Popular analysis tends to consider these days a church version of modern youth culture, as a type of rock festival with the pope as star," Benedict said in his Christmas greetings to the Vatican Curia.
But he said the ability of young Catholics to create a sense of community during the meetings shows they are more than just parties.
"In this way also the pope is not the star around which everything revolves," he said. "He is totally, and only, the vicar."
Benedict attended the youth event in Cologne, Germany in 2005, this past summer in Sydney, Australia, and has said he plans to attend the next one in Madrid, Spain in 2011