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Synod on Youth: Instrumentum Laboris, “recognising, interpreting, choosing” in a “culture of indecision”

“Recognising, interpreting, choosing”. These three verbs are at the heart of the Instrumentum Laboris (working document) of the Synod of Bishops on young people released today. The document is divided into three parts: the first being dedicated to an analysis of the condition of young people; the second offering insights into “discernment” on crucial issues; the third aimed at “helping the Synod Fathers decide on the guidelines and decisions to be taken”. “Taking care of young people is not an optional task”. It is the starting point for “discernment” as a “way of life, a fundamental attitude, and working method”, and aimed at offering “pastoral tools for the development of life proposals for today’s youth”, the document explains in the preface, while the Appendix deals with “holiness”. The document also offers “guidelines and suggestions” which are not “pre-packaged” that will serve as a basis for the work of the 16th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops – scheduled from 2 to 28 October on “Young people, faith and vocational discernment”. These suggestions will “open, not close,” the debate and offer a compass in today’s “culture of indecision” which “deems it impossible or even senseless to make lifelong decisions”. “In a world where opportunities and proposals increase exponentially, it becomes natural for us to respond with decisions that are always reversible, even if this involves a continuous mortification of desire”, the document pointed out: “Only a vocational anthropology seems to be able to understand the human person in all their truth and fullness” – this is the response given to young believers, non-believers and people from other religions, who have “expressed their desire to discern their vocation in the world and in history”.

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