Youth synod: final document released

The final document of the synod on young people has been released.

It showcases a Church which listens, “walks with” people, gives women a role in decision-making and ends governance by issuing edicts from on high.

The document says it is a “duty of justice” that women become involved in decision-making in the Church. It stresses the “urgency of an unavoidable change” in approach.

It also stresses the need to accompany gay Catholics, “to recognise the desire to belong and contribute to the life of the community” and “discern” how this can take place.

The Vatican says the three-part, 12-chapter, 60-page document was inspired by the episode of the disciples of Emmaus, recounted by the evangelist Luke.

Part One considers concrete aspects of young people’s lives:

  • the importance of schools and parishes
  • the need for laity to be trained to accompany young people especially since so many priests and bishops are already overburdened
  • the need to rethink the parish role – its vocational mission is often ineffective and not very dynamic, especially with catechesis
  • migration, abuse, the “throwaway culture”
  • art and music as pastoral resources.

This part also calls for a “firm commitment for the adoption of rigorous preventive measures that will keep abuse from being repeated.”

Part Two describes young people as one of the “theological places” where the Lord makes himself present. Young people allow the church to renew herself and shake off “heaviness and slowness.”

Mission is a “sure compass” for youth, the document says, “since it is the gift of self that brings an authentic and lasting happiness.” The document says vocation is closely connected with mission “as every baptismal vocation is a call to holiness,” which requires accompaniment and discernment.

Part Three focuses on “Walking together.” It invites Conferences of Bishops’ internationally to continue the process of discernment by developing pastoral solutions that consider the multiplicity of faces, sensitivities, origins and cultures.

Establishing a “Directory of youth ministry in a vocational key” on the national level is suggested. This would help diocesan and parish leaders qualify their training and action “with” and “for” young people, thus helping to overcome a certain fragmentation of the pastoral care of the Church.

This part of the document also reminds families and Christian communities of the importance of accompanying young people to discover the gift of their sexuality.

It says the bishops recognise the Church’s difficulty in transmitting “the beauty of the Christian vision of sexuality” in the current cultural context.

The bishops say it is urgent for “more appropriate ways which are translated concretely into the development of renewed formative paths” to be found.


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News category: World.