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Rome Reports

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Ahead of Synod, Card. Baldisseri reveals what young people want in the Church

The October Synod on “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment” is fast-approaching after intense and still continual preparation.

The goal for this Synod has been to make young people not only the topic, but active participants who voice their opinion. This was obvious in the Pre-Synodal meeting with 300 youth in Rome this March.

Secretary General, Synod of Bishops 2018
“What do young people want in the Church? They want it to be transparent, honest, open, welcoming and credible. These are all their requests that have come up in the last few years.”

In addition to sharing their mission for the Church, the youth also formed a Preparatory Document as a result of their meeting, to tell the Church what and who they want nearby.

Secretary General, Synod of Bishops 2018
“Do you know who young people ask for the most? Their father and mother. It's interesting; their parents. We know the family is in crisis. There's separation, internal questions... but in our research we asked the youth who they wanted to be near them. It was their parents, then teachers and educators, and finally the Church.”

Cardinal Baldisseri says he especially wants to reach out to parents and educators, to equip them to help the future generations. The Synod will thus discuss how to do that through the Catholic Church. 

He said it is not meant to be locked up in the Vatican, but it also has a grand responsibility to help form youth through the various Catholic institutions, such as schools and catechesis programs around the world.

Secretary General, Synod of Bishops 2018
“We can give extraordinary support as a Church because we have institutions at every level, whether they are family institutions, associations, movements or preparation for marriage and family. At the same time, we have large education institutions: elementary, middle, high schools and universities all over the world. As a Church we have 60 million young people who attend our institutions all over the world.”

In order for this support to work, he insists on listening to the youth: their desires, questions and interests. He says once one young person learns the truth, he or she will share it with others and it will multiply. Thus, what begins with the Synod of Bishops in October, can spread to education and can end with a societal revolution.