Cardinal is YouTube sensation!

An Italian cardinal has taken the visionary step of using YouTube to communicate with hundreds of thousands of his flock through a weekly catechesis.

Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, charismatic archbishop of Milan, and one of the main Italian candidates for Pope at the last conclave, is posting an interview on YouTube each Friday at 1.00pm for the weeks of Lent.

His catechesis is on the subject of baptism. Members of the public can email the cardinal, and he replies to two or three questions each week.

One week Paolo, a 24 year old from Milan, wrote to him that while he appreciated being baptised when he was a baby and felt it was a real gift, many of his friends were resentful of the fact, almost as if something had been done to them against their will. How could he help his friends rediscover the gift of baptism?

“I understand these young people who are baptised without personal choice,” answered the 73 year old archbishop of Milan. “However they received many other things from their parents as children, without asking for them!”

“You ask what can you do? Continue to thank the Lord, Paolo, for the gift that you have received. Live this baptism with generosity, commitment and coherence. Above all live it with interior joy, because when a person has joy in his heart, it touches every aspect of life – the way they speak, look at others, meet them, the actions they perform.

“In this way a joy born from your heart, invades your daily living, and becomes a contagious strength, so that your friends should ask themselves why their friend, who is like them in everything and for everything and yet, is so happy.”

Cardinal Tettamanzi, whose diocese has five million faithful, has found immediate success on YouTube. More than 16,000 logged on the second week of his question and answer catechesis session, with thousands of email flowing in with questions and comments. Last Friday, 12,000 mails were received.

That day in answer to a grandmother whose grandchild was not being baptised by the parents who were living together, but not married, Cardinal Tettamanzi underlined two ideas: “ You must respect and trust this family’s choice. I understand your suffering for your grandson, but I invite you to start a dialogue with the parents, and I recommend that you have the greatest delicacy and respect possible for their position. At the same time, have a great faith in God, for he looks after the pathway for each person, including your grandson. But have trust too in his parents who sooner or later, perhaps precisely through their son, will question themselves about life and the great possibility offered by Christian baptism.”



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