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Sydney Archbishop tells youth: if we as a Church have let you down, I'm so sorry

Sydney's archbishop made his way to Rome in October to participate in the month-long Synod on young people and vocational discernment. 

In preparation for this event and in recalling his role in planning Australia's World Youth Day in 2008, he wrote this book, “My Dear Young Friend: Letters on Youth, Faith, and the Future”

It is composed of 40 letters to youth, addressing some of their common questions. 

Archbishop of Sydney, Australia
“Young people have come to me with many different topics and these are the kinds of responses that I've given. Some of them are very particular, personal topics, that people have raised with me and others are just more general questions.”

These questions include how to manage difficulties like depression and anxiety, yet also how to dream big and not be discouraged by the world.  

Archbishop of Sydney, Australia
“Our age has some very particular challenges for young people. You think of the sex abuse crisis within the Church, which has hurt so many young people and damaged our credibility as a Church. You think of the secularization of society that leads many disoriented about what to believe and who to trust. You think of the digital technologies, you think of the mass migration of young people in certain parts of the world.”

With all of these issues and more, Archbishop Fisher says now bishops must stop, listen and talk about the concerns young people have, especially in his native country of Australia.

Archbishop of Sydney, Australia
“I'd say to young people: if we as a Church have let you down in any way, I'm so sorry for that. Don't give up on Christ because some of us have let you down. There is so much more to Christ and the Church than that.” “In the end, all we are about is Jesus Christ. That's what we offer you. At our best, that's what we offer you. However we fail as individuals, or as leaders, Christ never fails you.”

The Synod will close with a letter to the young people, as well as a final document. As of now, the contents have not been finalized. However, like Archbishop Fisher, all the bishops present are sharing their stories and hoping to bring home a new era for youth within their home parishes.