“Young people, cautious by nature of those who are outside their circle of personal relationships, oftentimes nourish mistrust, indifference or anger towards institutions”. This is the analysis contained in the Preparatory Document of the Synod on young people. “This is not just about society – the text released today reads – but increasingly affects educational institutions and the Church as an institution”. “They would like the Church to be closer to people and more attentive to social issues, but realize that this will not happen immediately”. All this takes place “in a context where sectarian membership and religious practice more and more characterize young people. Though young people are not in open ‘opposition’, they learn to live ‘without’ the God presented by the Gospel and ‘without’ the Church and to rely on alternative and minimally-institutionalized forms of religion and spirituality or to take refuge in sects or religious experiences with a strong affiliation”. “In many places, the presence of the Church is becoming less widespread and, consequently, more difficult to encounter – the Document points out -, while the dominant culture is the bearer of needs oftentimes at odds with Gospel values, whether it be elements of their tradition or the local reality of globalization, which is characterized by consumerism and an overemphasis on the individual”.