Pope Benedict has urged young people to study a youth catechism printed for young adults and teens, called "Youcat", in print next month in advance of Madrid's 2011 World Youth Day,
Writing in the foreword to the book, the Pope said: "Some people tell me that the youth of today are not involved in the catechism, but I do not consider this statement and I am certain that I am right. They are not as external as they are accused of being; young people want to identify what life really is about."
The book contains the authorized catechism for World Youth Day. It includes a question and answer section, illustrations, definitions of key terms, Bible credentials and quotes from the saints and other Church teachers.
In his foreword Benedict XVI said the book could be just as charming as a crime novel.
He said: "A crime novel is convincing because it involves the fate of other people, but it could be our own, this book is convincing because it speaks to us of our own fortune and therefore is closely related to each of us."
But he said the catechism did not offer "empty praise" or "easy solutions", but "requires a new life on your part". He urged young people "to study the catechism with passion and insistence! Sacrifice your time for it!"
The Pope said: "You need to know what you believe, you need to know your faith with the same precision with which a computer specialist knows the operating system of a computer...
"You need divine help, so your faith does not dry up like a drop of dew in the sun, so you do not yield to the temptations of consumerism, so your love is not drowned in pornography, so you do not hand over the weak, the victims of abuse and violence".