10/01/2018, 13.59
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Synod: Knowing how to accompany young people to the fullness of faith

The program for the Synod dedicated to Young people, faith and vocational discernment. Making the Church "credible" to the new generations and aware of its missionary task of "accompanying every young person, no one excluded, towards the joy of love, which Jesus Christ offers ". In first ever there will be two bishops from mainland China.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - To know the concrete and complex reality of today's young people to accompany them to the fullness of faith and life, with the awareness of not having a "ready recipe", or "pre-packaged solution", with the desire to make the Church "credible" to the new generations and aware of its missionary task of "accompanying every young person, no one excluded, towards the joy of love, which Jesus Christ offers".

Moreover, for teh first time, following the signing of the provisional agreement between the Holy See and the People's Republic of China there will also be "two bishops from mainland China". 

This, in a nutshell, is what has been proposed for the XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops to be held in the Vatican from 3 to 28 October on the theme: Youth, faith and vocational discernment. The program for the gathering was presented to press today.

The preparation of the assembly, underlined Card. Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Synod, started in 2016, was characterized by a wide "wide-ranging consultation with the whole People of God". This saw the intervention of the episcopates around the world and "three other instances promoted by the General Secretariat: a specific online questionnaire for all young people in the world, the international seminar on the condition of young people, celebrated from September 11 to 15, 2017 and the Pre-Synod meeting of young people from all over the world: 300 in the hall and 15,000 online), celebrated from March 19 to 24 this year ".

"The path of listening that preceded the Synod - said Card. Sérgio da Rocha, who is the general rapporteur of the assembly - has collected thousands of pages of testimonies, reflections and requests from all over the world; the Instrumentum laboris summarizes all these contributions, helping us to have a complete and integrated look at the issues that we will have to deal with: it is therefore the 'framework of reference' of the synodal works that will accompany us daily, offering us both a method and content to be discussed ".

"Its structure is based on the style chosen to walk together: discernment. There is no 'ready recipe' to accompany young people to the faith and fullness of life, nor a 'pre-packaged solution' to the many questions that the pre-synodal listening has raised. It is so opportune that as a synodal assembly we move forward in a dynamic of discernment. To do so means to assume some precise attitudes:

· The first is to keep the eyes and ears open, but also the mind and the heart, like a sentinel that does not let any sign of the changes taking place escape;

· The second requirement of a good path of discernment is to know how to evaluate in the light of faith what moves in the life of the world and of the Church, and in the interiority of each one of us;

· Finally, the willingness to stand in the wounds of history with a heart full of mercy is necessary, keeping the doors wide open to the God of tenderness who continually acts in His people and makes himself alive through the voice of the little ones and the poor ".

 

The general rapporteur then explained the schedule. Thus, throughout the first week, the first part of the Instrumentum laboris will be addressed, "which is characterized by the verb 'to recognize': we will face reality not from a sociological analysis, but with the disciple's gaze, scrutinizing the footsteps and the traces of the passage of the Lord with an open and welcoming attitude. For those who care about young people and want to accompany them towards life in fullness, it is essential to know the realities that they live, starting from the most painful ones such as discomfort, war, prison, migration and all other types of marginalization. and poverty".

"Equally it will be necessary for us to be challenged by the concerns of young people, even when they question the Church's practices or concern complex issues such as affectivity and sexuality. In our ecclesial contexts it is very easy to talk about young people 'by hearsay', referring to stereotypes or youthful models that no longer exist. In this way, instead of listening and learning from reality, we idealize and ideologize young people. Sometimes we refer to our youth and we think that today's young people live our own experiences. But in this way we inevitably lose sight of the characteristic traits of today's young people, who live and grow up in a very different context than even just a few years ago. With regard to the world of youth, we are invited to recognize immediately that reality is more important than the idea (see Instrumentum laboris, n.4): our words on young people and young people must start from the concreteness of reality ".

The works, recalled Card. Baldisseri, will be held according to an already consolidated method, under which the general congregations in the Synod hall will be followed by 14 minor circles (working groups) divided by languages ​​where we will proceed to the elaboration of collective modes of the basic text, or the Instrumentum laboris, which will then be delivered to the General Secretariat. The interventions of the Synodal Fathers, the collective work of the Minor Circles and the reports of the Circles will be collected and summarized in a provisional supplementary text to the Instrumentum Laboris at the end of each 'working unit'. A Commission for the elaboration of the Syndoal document will then be established. It will coordinate and oversee the work of the Synodal texts and will elaborate the project of the Final Document. This project will be presented in the morning of Wednesday, October 24 in the Hall. The Synod Fathers will be able to intervene further on the project, both in oral and written form. The Commission will then process the final drafting of the Final Document, which on Saturday morning 27 October will be presented in the Hall and in the afternoon subjected to a vote by the Synodal Fathers and finally once voted by them will be handed over to the Pope, who has the final decision.

266 Synod Fathers will take part in the work: 31 ex officio (15 Patriarchs, Archbishops Major and Metropolitans of the metropolitan churches su iuris of the Eastern Catholic Churches, 16 Heads of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, the Secretary General and the Under-Secretary of the Synod of Bishops, 15 Members of the XIV Ordinary Council), 181 elected by the Episcopal Conferences (ex electio ) and 41 Members named by the Pope. Among the other participants, there are 23 experts and 49 auditors. These include not only many youth ministry specialists but also 34 young people between 18 and 29 years. Finally, there will be eight fraternal delegates, representatives of other Churches and Ecclesial Communities. (FP)

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