Pope warns Catholics against 'fashionable ideas'
Pope Benedict XVI Thursday appealed to young Catholics to resist the temptation to follow "fashionable ideas" and be "led by the whim of each moment."
Speaking to hundreds of thousands of faithful hours after his arrival in Madrid, he urged them to base their lives on "solid rock, resistant to the onslaught of adversity."
That is "in contrast to someone who builds on sand - we would say today in what appears a paradise - but which collapses with the first gust of wind and falls into ruins," the 84-year-old pontiff said in the address on a massive stage in Madrid's Plaza Cibeles.
"To all those who are content to follow fashionable ideas, they take shelter in the here and now, forgetting true justice, or they take refuge in their own opinions instead of seeking the simple truth.
"Indeed, there are many who, creating their own gods, believe they need no roots or foundations other than themselves. They take it upon themselves to decide what is true or not, what is good and evil, what is just and unjust; who should live and who can be sacrificed in the interests of other preferences; leaving each step to chance, with no clear path, letting themselves be led by the whim of each moment.
"These temptations are always lying in wait. It is important not to give in to them because, in reality, they lead to something so evanescent, like an existence with no horizons, a liberty without God...
"In the face of our weaknesses which sometimes overwhelm us, we can rely on the mercy of the Lord who is always ready to help us again and who offers us pardon in the sacrament of Penance."
The pope arrived earlier Thursday in the sweltering Spanish capital for the rock festival-style World Youth Day festivities, which last until Sunday and which have drawn more than a million pilgrims from around the world.
The visit and the festival have sparked protests by more than 100 groups opposed to the huge costs amid an economic crisis.
Many of those in Spain's 15-M "indignant" movement -- launched on May 15 against the management of the economic crisis, soaring unemployment and political corruption -- also took part.
© 2011 AFP