2011-12-28 Vatican RadioSome 30,000 young people from across Europe and other continents have gathered in the German capitol, Berlin for the start Wednesday of the thirty-fourth meeting of the ecumenical community Taize. The December 28th through January 1st encounter marks the first time that Catholics and protestants of the Taize community gather in Berlin, a symbol of how the divisions between East and West can be overcome. In his message to participants at this year’s meeting, Pope Benedict XVI urged them to search “for ways of deepening the wellsprings of trust.”
“As you know,” writes Pope Benedict, “trust is not blind gullibility. By freeing you from the bondage of fear, this trust, drawn from your faith in Christ and in the life of the Holy Spirit in your hearts, makes you more perceptive and more available to meet the many challenges and difficulties which men and women face today.”
We caught up with Taize prior, Brother Alois, in Berlin. We asked what does “trust” mean for him, today?
Since 1998, Taizé has sent humanitarian aid to North Korea several times when the country was severely afflicted by food shortages. This year 2011, three times, Taizé sent 260 tons of wheat flour and 120 tons of pasta through Operation Hope.
At the beginning of 2012 Taize hopes to send a shipment of essential medical supplies and drugs and is asking those going to the European meeting in Berlin to help contribute by bringing materials and equipment to be shipped to North Korea.