Pope wants young people: their enthusiasm, daring and hope

The enthusiasm, daring and hope of young people are necessary to the Catholic Church, Pope Francis says.

Speaking to a gathering of 300 young representatives, Francis explained the Church needs youth to preach the Gospel energetically and respond to the questions men and women raise today.

“We need to rediscover in the Lord the strength to get up after failure, to move forward, to strengthen hope for the future,” he said.

The young people, who have been drawn from all over the world, are attending a week-long meeting to help with preparations for October’s Synod of Bishops on “Young People, Faith and Vocation Discernment”.

Most of the delegates were chosen by their national bishops’ conferences.

Others represent a variety of Catholic movements or ministries, including religious life.

The Vatican also invited delegates from other Christian churches and religions, including Islam, and young people who describe themselves as nonbelievers.

Pope Francis wants the Church and its members to go out, continue asking what God is calling them to do and to look for new ways to respond to God’s call.

At the same time, everyone must “keep an eye on the roots” of the church and preserve its essential teachings.

Finding creative ways to share those teachings and reflect on how the Gospel responds to people’s questions today is essential, he says.

Some delegates told Francis they are concerned about the amount of time their peers spend on social media.

Others spoke of how technology helps connect young people and rally them in support of good causes.

Some spoke of a need for better catechesis and support in fighting the “culture of relativism”, while others asked for an open and honest discussion of the church’s teaching on sexuality and on the role of women in the church.

A general report about the session said all the delegates voiced the need for the Church’s guidance and mentorship.

Distrust in religious leaders, scepticism about religion in general and lack of religious affiliation were common themes raised.


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News category: World.

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