Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Students guide to bioethics to be distributed at World Youth Day

World Youth Day this year takes place in Rio De Janerio next week from July 23rd to July 28th and it is expected that millions of young people from all over the world will be in attendance. This will be the first World Youth Day with Pope Francis in attendance and the first time he has returned to South America since his election. 
This years world youth day has been given the title “Go and make disciples of all nations” Taken from the end of Matthew’s gospel, the context of the theme is to respect the Resurrection of Christ. The disciples, who until then were frightened and locked inside for fear of the Jews, encounter Christ, the victor over death.
The encounter with Christ Risen encourages all to the living of this mandate. Mary Magdalene sees the empty tomb and witnesses! Peter and John believe and testify when they see the strips of linen and the cloth! The disciples of Emmaus recognize Christ in the sharing of bread and testify that Christ lives!

It is in this context that Christ gives the mandate: Go! Go because He is alive and he walks in front of his friends. Go because Christ is victor and remains with each member of the Church. Go and announce the resurrection!

This is what the theme of WYD Rio2013 seeks to generate in the heart of every young pilgrim. It motivates each participant to let the light of the Risen Christ dissipate the darkness of fear and doubts that paralyze. It encourages young people to be missionaries even in situations of conflict, in countries where Christians are persecuted, amid a secularized world that does not want to live Christian values.

The Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro, sponsor of World Youth Day 2013, requested that a Student’s Guide to Bioethics be distributed to all the pilgrims attending World Youth Day in Rio. 2 million copies have been printed in French, English, Spanish, and Portuguese and inserted into the “pilgrim’s bags” so that all attending will have a copy.

Every youth taking part will receive a "kit" from organizers.  Within each kit is a copy of this excellent pro-life booklet published by the Lejeune Foundation.
This is one of a number of pro-life materials that are going to be shared with the millions of people expected in Rio.

Titled in French, Manuel Bioéthique des Jeunes, the Student’s Guide to Bioethics was first published in 2006 by the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation to counter the ideological bias in a qualifying examination in science for youth.  The objective of the Student’s Guide to Bioethics is “to go beyond cosmetic rhetoric to focus on the reality of biological facts and their ethical implications”. The French edition has been a great success: more than 300,000 copies have been distributed free of charge to students, parents and schools that have requested it. The book has been translated into Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Hungarian, and Swedish.

The English translation is now available and puts critical questions facing our society and culture on an objectively scientific basis. It encourages readers to make well-informed judgments based upon scientific fact and sound ethical principles.  The approach is rigorous, yet accessible making this small book a valuable educational tool, not just for young people but also for adults.