January 28, 2021

The next Synod will challenge the challenge of understanding young people

The next Synod will challenge the challenge of understanding young people



The next Synod of Bishops that will gather 267 of the so-called Synodal Fathers, but also 23 experts and 36 young people, will face from October 3 to 27 the "challenge" of the Church to understand the young people and the reasons for their distance .

The Vatican today presented the next Assembly of Bishops whose theme will be "Youth, faith and vocational discernment" and that Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Synod, considered that "it is a subject that is a challenge", but " that the Church is not afraid to face these challenges that are always difficult and full of obstacles ".

One of the general rapporteurs, Brazilian Cardinal Sergio Da Rocha, explained that during the Synod some of the situations that affirm that the Church has moved away from young people will be studied.

"And they tell us openly," said the Brazilian cardinal who added that "in many cases they do not feel close, welcoming, especially in the hardest moments of human growth."

Pope Francis had admitted during a meeting with young people during his recent trip to the Baltic countries that young people "are outraged by economic and sexual scandals to those who do not see a strong condemnation."

"We will have to ask ourselves: Are we a meaningful community for the young people of today? (…) What conversion or prophetic gestures are necessary to regain the trust of the new generations?", Are some of the questions to the that the synodal fathers arrived from all the Catholic Churches of the world will have to answer.

The work scheme is the one introduced by Francisco with his two previous synods about the family, which is the open debate on the part of all the participants who will be able to talk for a few minutes during the first week.

Then, 14 discussion groups divided by languages, known as "minor circles", will be created to write summaries with which the final document, "Relatio finalis", will be drawn up, with the contributions or amendments that will be voted one by one for the Synodal parents.

During the press conference for the presentation of the Synod, Baldisseri was made aware of the small presence of young people in an assembly that will deal with their problems.

Baldisseri specified that the novelty is that these 36 young people, coming from all over the world, will sit down to debate and will be able to contribute their ideas during the elaboration of the document in the "smaller circles".

Although they can not vote because it is only a prerogative of the bishops.

He also recalled that for the first time before a Synod a preparatory meeting was held in the Vatican where the young people expressed their concerns.

Baldisseri explained that each day one of these young people will speak because "the bishops want to listen to them".

The interest will focus on how the Catholic Church will respond to the requests of young people that were reflected in the document of the pre-synodal meeting to "reinforce zero tolerance against sexual abuse" or that the Church is "transparent, welcoming, honest , attractive, communicative, accessible, cheerful and interactive ".

Or that they also "confront in a concrete way controversial arguments such as homosexuality, gender issues" because, they admit "young people already discuss freely and without taboos".

On the other hand, two Chinese bishops will participate for the first time in the Synod meeting.

After the signing of the recent provisional agreement between China and the Holy See and the legitimacy on the part of Pope Francis of seven bishops who had been ordained by Beijing, Yang Xaoting and Guo Jincai will arrive in Rome, which is one of those seven.

By Cristina Cabrejas

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