Actress who converted to Catholicism: Not true today's Church is old
The Church is aging in countries like Spain or Italy. There are fewer priests, and those participating in religious ceremonies are generally over 60 years old.
However, this does not prevent exceptional cases such as Veronica's. She works in cinema and television both in front of and behind the camera. Her life has radically changed in recent years. She found her faith after a long road marked by illness and the divorce of her parents.
“The divorce was difficult... there were fights and to see their own parents fighting it's not easy for a child... it is painful. Children have an ability to move forward, but there are things that you keep inside, which sooner or later explode. (The illness) was unexpected. It was not gradual but instantaneous. It was peritonitis, a serious infection, which I ran the risk of dying from. You don't have time to prepare and when you are young you do not think about death.”
It was during her illness that she came into contact with a disciple of Padre Pio, Fr. Pancrazio. Little by little, he helped change Veronica's way of looking at the world. She met this priest through her father who despite not practicing the faith, admired him deeply.
“Regardless of whether one believes or not, I think there are charisms or qualities in others that people recognize as special. I mean, when you are in front of someone like Fr. Pancrazio, you realize that he is not an ordinary person, but at the same time he is the most normal person you can meet. When I met him, there was nothing special, but at the same time there was something extraordinary about him.”
As the Church prepares the next synod, it's studying stories like Veronica's. The goal of the Synod is to think about how to be more meaningful for young people in today's world. It will be held in October.
“Although it's said the Church is old because it's formed by many elderly people... this does not mean that it's old: there are elders who can be younger than today's young people. I think that each one of us, especially when young and fragile, creates an image as a way of protecting ourselves, as a character for others. You convince yourself to be that character that you have created in your own head. (To young people) I would tell the youth not to be afraid of showing their weaknesses.”
It's also one of the pope's proposals to young people; identifying their fears and facing them with courage.
June 18, 2016
“I have said this word many times: Take a risk. He who does not dare, does not walk. Approach problems, get out of your shells and take risks, take risks. ”
With the call for this synod, the pope shows that the youth are one of his priorities. Last March, he listened to 300 young people from all over the world, who came representing episcopal conferences.