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Recognition for Indian youth movement

Kochi (UCAN): The Vatican has recognised Jesus Youth, a Catholic movement that began some 30 years ago in southern India, as an international private association of Catholics with canonical standing, allowing it to function autonomously as a lay movement.

The group began in the 1980s as an offshoot of the Catholic charismatic movement in Kerala. It holds prayer meetings and retreats and other spiritually oriented programmes for young people with the aim of faith and character formation.

The director of international mission for Jesus Youth, Subin Jacob, said that the Pontifical Council for the Laity will present a decree of recognition at a function at the Vatican on April 20. 

The recognition also acknowledges the fact that the group was started by individual Catholics and not by a cleric. Jesus Youth first received approval as a Church organisation from the Indian Catholic Bishops’ Conference in 2008.

Jacob said that Jesus Youth promotes a spirituality based on the practice of six pillars: daily prayer, the word of God, the sacraments, fellowship, evangelisation and helping the poor. It is active in 25 countries around the world, with a presence in five continents.

He added that this is the second such approval by the Vatican of a lay movement in Asia. The problematic Philippine-based Couples for Christ was approved as a private international association of laity in 2000.

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