The pre-Synodal meeting is open, with over 300 young people from all continents, Catholic, Christians and non-believers. A Synod that "wants to be not only a Synod on the 'young and' for 'young people, but also a Synod' of 'young people and' with 'young people". "Too often we talk about young people without questioning you". Anticipation from the new book-interview: "" To understand a young person - you can read it - today you have to understand it in movement, you can’t stand still and expect to be on their wave length”.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - We must look for new paths, escape from the logic of 'but it has always been this way, that is poison' that "reassures the soul" and "does not let you progress". "Escaping from the logic of its 'always has been done so', to remain creatively in the wake of authentic Christian tradition, but creative." This according to Pope Francis, was one of the reasons for choosing to dedicate the Synod of bishops to be held in October to young people as he opened the pre-Synodal meeting this morning in Rome.
The meeting, which will continue until March 24, has gathered 300 young people from around the world, Catholics, Christians and non-believers. It is part of the preparation for a Synod which, according to Card. Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, "wants to be not only a Synod on the young and for the young, but also a Synod of the young and with young people".
"Too often - said Francis - we talk about young people without questioning you. Even the best analysis on the world of youth, while being useful, can never replace the need for a face-to-face encounter ". "Young people must be taken seriously! It seems to me that we are surrounded by a culture that, if on the one hand idolizes youth, trying to stop it from passing, on the other it excludes so many young people from being protagonists. Often you are marginalized from public life and you find yourself begging for employment that cannot even guarantee you a tomorrow. Too often you are left alone ".
"In the Church it does not have to be that way". "The next Synod will also be an appeal to the Church, to rediscover a renewed youthful dynamism". In some e-mails of the questionnaire of the Synod secretariat, there is an appeal to adults to help them make important choices and a girl wrote that the world of youth is falling apart. "I do not know if the world of the youth is going downhill, I do not know. But I feel that this girl's cry is sincere and requires attention. It's up to you to answer this girl, talk to this girl. She is one of you and we have to see where it takes us. Also in the Church we must learn new ways of presence and closeness. Is very important".
"Dear young people, the heart of the Church is young precisely because the Gospel is like a lifeblood that regenerates it continuously. It is up to us to be docile and to cooperate in this fruitfulness. And all of you can collaborate in this fruitfulness: whether you are Catholic Christians, or of other religions, or non-believers. We ask you to collaborate in our fruitfulness, to give life. We also do it in this synodal journey, thinking of the reality of young people all over the world. We need to regain the enthusiasm of faith and the taste of searching. We need to find again in the Lord the strength to recover from failures, to go forward, to strengthen confidence in the future. And we need to dare to try new paths. Do not be frightened: dare to take new paths, even if this involves risks. A man, a woman who does not risk, does not mature. An institution that makes choices not to risk remains a child, does not grow. Risk, accompanied by caution, by good council, but go ahead. Without risking, do you know what happens to a young man? He ages! He retires at 20! A young person ages and even the Church ages. I say this with pain. How many times do I find Christian communities, even young ones, but old ones. They have aged because they were afraid. Fear of what? To go out, to go out to the existential peripheries of life, to go where the future is being played out. One thing is prudence, which is a virtue, but another is fear. We need you young people, living stones of a Church with a young face, but not made up, as I said: not artificially rejuvenated, but revived from within. And you provoke us to get out of the logic of 'but it's always been like that'. And that logic, please, is a poison. It's a sweet poison, because it calms your soul and leaves you as anesthetized and does not let you walk. To escape from the logic of it has always has been done this way', to remain creatively in the wake of authentic Christian tradition, but creative. I recommend to Christians to read the Book of the Acts of the Apostles: the creativity of those men. Those men knew how to go on with a creativity that if we translate it into today’s terms, it frightens us! You create a new culture, but be careful: this culture can not be 'eradicated'. A step forward, but look at the roots! Do not go back to the roots, because you will end up buried: take a step forward, but always with the roots. And the roots - this, forgive me, I carry it in my heart - are the old ones, they are good old men. The roots are the grandparents. The roots are those who have lived their lives and that this culture of waste discards them, they do not serve, it dispels them. The old ones have this charisma to bring the roots. Talk to the old".
The outcome of these days of discussion will be the subject of a document which will be handed over to the Pope next Sunday, Palm Sunday and XXXIII World Youth Day and which will flow into the working document of the XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod.
A reflection on the young is also contained in one of the forward of the new book-interview of Pope Francis, published by some Italian newspapers and published by Vatican Radio :. A conversation with Thomas Leoncini. "To understand a young person – it reads - today you have to understand them on the move, you cannot stand still and expect to be on their wavelength. If we want to talk with a young person we must be 'mobile', and then they will slow down to listen to us, they will decide to do it. And when they slow down another movement will begin: a motion in which the young man will begin to keep pace more slowly to be heard and the elderly will accelerate to find the meeting point. They both try hard: the younger ones go slower and the old ones go faster. This could mark progress. (...) Adults often uproot young people, eradicate their roots and instead of helping them to be prophets for the good of society, they make them orphaned and discarded. Today's young people are growing up in an uprooted society ".