Youth survey response disappoints Vatican

Responses to the Vatican’s online youth survey has had fewer responses than expected. As a result it will remain online until the end of November.

The survey was sent out in June to help prepare for the Synod of Bishops’ assembly on young people that will take place in October next year. The synod will be held at the Vatican.

The Vatican international poll targeted people 16-29 years of age. This is the first time the Vatican has directly sought to consult in this way.

Of the 148,247 people who visited the survey site, 65,000 answered all the questions.

About 3,000 left their email addresses and said they wished to be kept informed of the survey’s outcome.

In comparison to the 2.5 million people who participated in the 2016 World Youth Day in Poland, the figures are considered “quite low” for a worldwide survey.

Observers noted the survey communications were not very effective in some countries. In some instances the language barrier was a problem. They say as an example, the survey was not translated into German.

German bishops made their own translation and distributed it locally. However, the Synod’s secretary-general, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, did not include young Germans’ responses in the survey response statistics.

In his summary of comments which young people made about the survey, Baldisseri cited several testimonies from French youth who expressed satisfaction with the way it was carried out.

He also noted criticisms. Some respondents felt it was too long, others felt a number of important issues were hardly addressed or not at all.

These include problems linked to alcohol, drug and medicine consumption, sexuality, relationship issues and links with other religions.

Young people who attended a September seminar which the Vatican held in preparation for the synod had already expressed some of these concerns.

Baldisseri says youth contribution “is essential for the conclusions to correspond to the reality of the Church and society”.

Without young people’s contribution he says “there is a risk of building ‘castles in the air’, which will remain uninhabited because young people do not identify with them”, Baldisseri says.



Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , ,