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Synod on Youth: card. Baldisseri, “it may be a piece in the missionary renewal of the Church”. Young people ask to be involved in Vatican institutions

 

“The Synod on Youth may be a piece of that missionary renewal of the Church that, in the apostolic exhortation ‘Evangelii gaudium’, is the challenge of our time. We must look to young people not just so that they help us understand how to announce the Gospel, but also to get a better insight of what Jesus asks of His Church, what He expects of it, what should be cut out and sewn up again for such mission”. This was said by cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Episcopal Synod, as today at the Curia generalizia of the Jesuit fathers in Rome he closed the international workshop on the situation of young people, in the run-up to the XV ordinary general assembly due to take place in October 2018, about “Young people, faith and vocational discernment”. A journey, the one of the Synod, that began last January with the publication of the preparatory document that contained a questionnaire to help eligible organisations express their understanding of young people’s world and that went on with the opening of a website (youth.synod2018.va) with a questionnaire, this time one for young people aged 16 to 29. “The young people who responded on the website so far – the cardinal stated – are about 130 thousand, contacts are about 250 thousand. A truly big number. The deadline for submission of the questionnaires is late November”. “A first review of the answers – the general secretary of the Synod added – shows that the family is one of the issues that young people have most at heart, and many of them still see the Church as a place of prohibitions”. The international workshop dealt with multiple issues, “identity, vision, otherness, technology and transcendence, while retaining a realistic view of young people’s world. We did not hide the bewilderment that the new generations feel nowadays and that is often the result of other crises, the crisis of the family and the crisis of society. But realism – card. Baldisseri pointed out – never slipped into pessimism. Despite the many contradictions of our time, today’s young people are more resourceful that those of the past, they are full of ideas and challenges”. In taking stock of the meeting, the cardinal listed some of the ideas, “which we will keep into account”, submitted by the young people who attended the workshop, 21 out of 82 attendees: firstly, “having a young team to support the efforts of the General Secretariat of the Synod to include opportunities to share ideas and interact at the synod’s meetings between bishops and young people. This is – the cardinal stated – a first, and it’s a good idea. Young people, it should be said, will be part of the Synod as auditors so they can personally have their say. We will try to expand their involvement as much as possible”. Another idea submitted by the young during the workshop is about “permanently involving some young people in the Vatican institutions”. According to Baldisseri, this is “a demand that should be taken up and is outside of our province, but one that we can refer to the synod fathers”.

 

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