Synod on Synodality

— ‘The Biggest Thing in the Catholic Church Since Vatican II’

Pope Francis meets with officials of the upcoming assembly of the Synod of Bishops in the library of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace Sept. 18. From the left are: Father Riccardo Battocchio, one of the synod’s special secretaries; Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, relator general; Cardinal Mario Grech, secretary-general of the synod secretariat; and Jesuit Father Giacomo Costa, the other special secretary of the synod assembly scheduled for Oct. 4-19.


Meetings today are common occurrences at work, in neighborhoods, schools, and churches, but an almost month-long meeting — coming on the heels of a two-year consultation process at the parish, national, and continental levels, and then followed by another gathering a year later before submitting a final report, to the pope no less, is hardly an average meeting.

That is what is about to take place Oct. 4-29 at the Vatican as part of the Synod on Synodality initiated by Pope Francis, also called “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission.” More than 450 people from around the world — cardinals, bishops, clergy, religious, and laypeople — will be taking part in this gathering to discuss the state of the Church and its path forward, and 363 will vote on the proceedings. Delegates were chosen by bishops’ conferences and Pope Francis, and this is the first time a synod will include laity and women as voting members.

Although the assembly officially starts Oct. 4, participants will take part in a three-day retreat Oct. 1-3, and an ecumenical prayer vigil that is part of the synod will be held in St. Peter’s Square Sept. 30.

The word “synod” is defined as a church assembly. For centuries, church leaders have gathered, often in councils, but in 1965, just after the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI officially established the Synod of Bishops as a regular listening and collaborative session of the world’s bishops to provide counsel to the pope.

Since that time, there have been more than a dozen of these gatherings, every few years, focusing on specific areas in the Church such as family life, vocations, evangelization, catechesis, priestly formation, and young people. A synod typically ends with a formal statement that gives guidance and direction for the whole Church.

But the word “synod” also has another meaning from Greek words of together and path and viewed that way it emphasizes a process of walking together, similar to the disciples in the Gospels who walked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus.

The pope has described the synodal process as a way to examine how the Church can better fulfill its mandate to preach the good news of Jesus across the world and has urged those taking part to listen in it to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the entire Church at this moment.

The Synod on Synodality started with listening sessions around the world where Catholics were invited to share their thoughts and experiences about the Church. These responses were gathered into national and then continental reports to summarize the concerns of the faithful.

The preparatory document for the synod says that its purpose is to “inspire people to dream about the Church we are called to be, to make people’s hopes flourish, to stimulate trust, to bind up wounds, to weave new and deeper relationships, to learn from one another, to build bridges, to enlighten minds, warm hearts, and restore strength to our hands for our common mission.”

And just as most meetings have schedules and handout materials, the Synod on Synodality has its own paperwork: a working document called the “Instrumentum Laboris” that includes open-ended questions.

The document includes summaries and insights from the continental assemblies and outlines what a synodal Church is and how it should proceed. It also includes worksheets with questions for the October meeting delegates.

The worksheets will be used to guide the small-group discussions taking place in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall. The sessions will also include plenary sessions for the group at large. Some of the discussions will focus on hot-button topics such as women deacons, priestly celibacy, and LGBTQ outreach.

The final part of the meeting will focus on determining next steps for the Church.

Pope Francis has said a few things that the synod is not. In a May 28 homily on Pentecost, the pope described the synod as a “a journey in accordance with the Spirit, not a parliament for demanding rights and claiming needs in accordance with the agenda of the world, nor an occasion for following wherever the wind is blowing, but the opportunity to be docile to the breath of the Holy Spirit.”

And most recently, on a Sept. 4 return flight from his visit to Mongolia, the pope told reporters that the synod was “not a television program where you talk about everything; no, it is a religious moment, a religious exchange.”

And when he first announced in March 2020 that this synod would take place, he described it as “a walk together, and it is what the Lord expects from the Church of the third millennium.”

Massimo Faggioli, professor of theology and religious studies at Villanova University, just outside Philadelphia, said the Synod on Synodality is “an historical event” and that its upcoming gathering in Rome “will be very intense and unique.

“This is the biggest thing happening in the Catholic Church since Vatican II, there is no question about that,” he told The Tablet.

He noted that he has followed everything that involves the synodal process in the past few years and is excited not just as an historian but is “curious to see how it unfolds as a Catholic member of the Church.”

Faggioli, who has written books about the Church and the papacy, also pointed out that “a lot of things are at stake, I think, and a lot might happen that we don’t expect.”

In the weeks leading up to the October synod gathering, some U.S. Church leaders and commentators have speculated that the gathering could cause harm to the Church and undermine Catholic teaching on the Eucharist and sexual ethics.

The pope announced on the recent papal flight that the sessions would not be livestreamed, nor would reporters be given access to the proceedings, instead, a committee will summarize the discussions for the press “to safeguard the religiosity and safeguard the freedom of those who speak” but may not want to do so publicly, Catholic News Service Rome reported.

Complete Article HERE!

‘You can count on us.’

— Synod organizers attempt to dismiss fears ahead of fall meeting

An aerial view of Vatican City, left, in Rome.

The Synod on Synodality has a communications problem, and it risks reinforcing papal critics.


As Catholic bishops and lay people prepare to gather in Rome this October to begin discussions on the main challenges facing the church, tensions over the topics — and the stakes — of the summit have grown.

Papal allies and organizers of the October 4-29 event — the “Synod on Synodality: Communion, Participation and Mission” — are trying to defuse the tension and reassure faithful that the church has nothing to fear from the discussions even if they will take place behind closed doors.

“The way we will communicate the synod is very important for the discernment process of the entire church,” said Paolo Ruffini, who heads the Vatican communications department and will conduct briefings on the event during the month of October, at a press conference at the Vatican on Friday (Sept. 8).

With its unassuming title, the Synod on Synodality could be easily dismissed as a gathering of no consequence. When describing the event, organizers use the terms “walking together,” “enlarging the space of our tent” and “ecclesiology.” But the summit is actually the culmination of a three-year process initiated by Pope Francis to engage the church at every level and has the opportunity to not only radically subvert power structures in the traditionally hierarchical institution, but also to create a new system of governance that can overcome growing polarization.

The success of this ambitious project greatly relies on how much people who participate in it believe in it, organizers said. Members of the Vatican’s Synod office have structured the event in such a way as to promote healthy dialogue, with short discussions interrupted by prayer and meditation, group retreats and small working groups. Individuals trained in synodality, called facilitators, will guide the event and help participants engage in a spirit of unity and fraternity.

Despite the efforts the Vatican has made to ensure the discussions at the synod occur in a collegial and thoughtful way, the church has little to no control of how the event is perceived from the outside. The Catholic Church is currently addressing controversial issues concerning the welcoming of LGBTQ Catholics, the creation of leadership roles for women and female ordination, and the accountability of bishops on questions ranging from sexual abuse to financial mismanagement. Anxieties abound over how the synod will grapple with these polarizing topics.

Local synodal expressions, such as the Synodal Way in Germany, have taken a very progressive stance on some of these issues and even defied Vatican recommendations by blessing same-sex couples.

Pope Francis talks to reporters during the return flight from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Monday, Sept. 4, 2023, at the end of a historic four-day visit to a region where the Holy See has long sought to make inroads. (Ciro Fusco/ANSA via AP, Pool)
Pope Francis talks to reporters during the return flight from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Monday, Sept. 4, 2023, at the end of a historic four-day visit.

To ensure attendants can speak freely, the Vatican Synod office has maintained that the speeches and conversations within the hall will remain secret. “We have to preserve the synodal environment,” Pope Francis said, answering questions by journalists on his return flight from Mongolia on Monday (Sept. 4). “This isn’t a television show where everything is on the table, no, it’s a religious moment, a religious exchange.”

Ruffini quoted the pope’s words during the conference on Friday, underlining the need to preserve “the sacredness” of synodal discussions. He also underlined that most institutions don’t publicly share the internal debates leading up to a decision.

At the end of the synod event, attendants will approve a synthesis document that will be made public. But it won’t be the final report, Ruffini specified, since there will be a second synod meeting at the Vatican in the fall of 2024 that will issue a final document.

“We are really counting on how media will be able to communicate this communal effort of ours,” he said, before adding: “You can count on us.”

Ruffini specified that the opening Mass, the first general assembly meeting and the opening sessions of each sections, or modules, will be livestreamed. The five modules will focus on the topics of synodality, participation, mission and communion and a final synthesis and approval of the synod report.

Shutting the doors on synodal discussions in the past has contributed to frustrating previous synods under Pope Francis, with coverage being centered on polarizing topics and sensationalist statements. When the pope called bishops and Indigenous peoples to the Vatican in 2019 to discuss the Amazon region, where fires burn down trees daily and pollution endangers the forest, articles on the event centered around a young conservative Catholic who stole a sacred image of Amazonian peoples and tossed it in the river Tiber.

The Vatican has so far ensured the synod will issue daily briefings and provide detailed information about what is happening behind the closed doors of the synod hall. The Synod on Synodality has opened its process and discussions to rank-and-file Catholics more than any other modern Vatican gathering, and now those people feel invested in the result of their efforts.

Synod on Synodality logo. Courtesy image
Synod on Synodality logo.

The secrecy that typically surrounds Vatican events, even one as open as the Synod on Synodality, has fueled papal critics who believe the summit is nothing more than a cover for the pope to implement a liberal agenda. After all, while synod participants will get to vote on the topics, it will be the pope who in the end draws the conclusions from the event.

In a new book that likened the synod to “a Pandora’s Box,” papal critic Cardinal Raymond Burke warned the summit could cause confusion and even schism.

The pope during the in-flight press conference acknowledged the polarization inside and outside of the synod. While he said that “there is no place for ideology inside the synod,” he also recognized that many looking from the outside are afraid the event will ultimately lead to changes to church doctrine.

“If you look deep at the root of this fear you will find ideology,” the pope said. “It’s always ideology that wishes to detach itself from the path of communion with the church.”

The synod is “very open,” the pope insisted, explaining that the discussions will be kept private to avoid fostering a climate of gossip and politics. After all, he said, “the synod isn’t a parliament.”

Complete Article HERE!

Rome set to host not one, but two, Synods of Bishops

— Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church gathers in Eternal City, one month before Pope Francis’ Synod on Synodality.

By John Burger

In a little over a month, hundreds of Catholics from around the world will descend on Rome for a long-planned and much-hyped gathering loosely referred to as the Synod on Synodality. Bishops, priests, lay Catholics and non-Catholic guests will meet with Pope Francis for much of the month of October to discuss the future of the Church.

But a smaller gathering in the Eternal City, also bearing the name Synod, will take place starting this Sunday, September 3. It will culminate a week later with a planned Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica, possibly in the presence of Pope Francis.

This gathering is an annual meeting of the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the largest of the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches in communion with Rome. His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head and father of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, announced in May that the Synod this year will meet in Rome, with the central theme being “Pastoral Support for Victims of War.”

While it’s tempting to invoke Charles Dickens and quip that Rome will see a “Tale of Two Synods,” there are significant differences between Eastern and Western understandings of synodality. Pope St. Paul VI established the Synod of Bishops in 1965, and it has met every few years to deliberate on specific topics. Its recommendations at the end of that process often usually result in a papal document, setting direction for the Church to follow.

In 2020, Pope Francis called upon the Synod of Bishops to take up the topic “For a synodal Church: communion, participation and mission.” As it looks to the first of two international assemblies – this October and next – it has conducted a broad consultation with the laity. In 2021, the Pope appointed French Xavierian Sr. Nathalie Becquart an under-secretary of the Synod of Bishops, making her the first woman to have the right to vote in the Synod of Bishops. Several lay people also have been invited to participate, with voting rights extended to them.

Francis has often said that the word “synodality” comes from the Greek, meaning “walking together.” The Synod of Bishops website says that the “Synod on Synodality” wants to provide “an opportunity for the entire People of God to discern together how to move forward on the path towards being a more synodal Church in the long-term.”

Self-governing Churches

But the Latin Catholic Church is still governed by the Pope alone. Eastern Catholic Churches, on the other hand, are governed by their synods of bishops.

“The Eastern Churches have a tradition of collegial leadership called the Synod, which is a gathering of all the bishops of the Church,” explains the Ukrainian Church on its website. “The Synod, headed by the Patriarch (or Major Archbishop), is the highest level of Church leadership. Currently, 43 bishops participate in the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC, not including retired bishops. The meeting of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC takes place annually.”

Fr. Mark Morozowich, a Ukrainian Catholic priest who served until recently as the Dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America, is now the Bishop Basil H. Losten Chair of Ukrainian Catholic Studies there. He said in an interview that when the Synod of Bishops meets, they reflect on theological and canonical issues, as well as the future of the Church, “what direction, sort of setting the big vision for the Church.”

They also elect bishops for the Church.

Wartime synod

The fact that they are meeting in Rome this year has to do both with the Synod’s practice as an international body and the current reality in Ukraine.

“The bishops have been seeking to go to different places,” Fr. Morozowich said. “They’ve met before in Rome; they’ve met in Washington, DC; they’ve met even in Brazil. Part of the expression of the Ukrainian Catholic Church is to see itself as a Church that’s taking care of its people in the world no matter where they may have gone.”

Due to emigration over the years, the Church has become established throughout Europe, North and South America, and Oceania. Fr. Morozowich said that because Ukrainian bishops want to “understand more clearly the situation of the churches in these areas,” they sometimes hold their synodal gatherings outside the “canonical territory” of Ukraine.

Disruptions began in 2020, however, when the Synod had to meet online, due to the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic. And last year, because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Synod met just over the border, in Poland.

And, of course, the war is much on the minds of His Beatitude Sviatoslav and all the bishops of the Ukrainian Church.

“This is an opportunity for the bishops to express to the pope their concern and the need certainly for his unfailing support,” Fr. Morozowich said. “His words sometimes have been difficult for people in Ukraine to understand where he’s coming from.”

Francis’ remarks in late August, in which he seemed to be speaking positively about Russian imperialism, “have blown up all over Ukraine,” Fr. Morozowich said. “It’s hard for people who are being bombed routinely” to hear.

The Synod of Bishops plans to discuss that issue with Pope Francis. In a statement August 29 asking the faithful for prayers for the Synod of Bishops meeting, His Beatitude Sviatoslav commented, “For some reason, it turned out during the war that the Pope does not understand Ukraine, and Ukraine does not understand the Pope. We can say the same thing about Russia. The Pope does not understand Russia, neither its history nor its current crimes. And we are the ones who have to be the voice of truth for the Ukrainian people, even before the Holy Father in Rome. And the truth is that many people, even religious leaders, sometimes feel more comfortable in Russian propaganda’s sugar-coated lies than facing the cruel but Ukrainian truth.”

It is the task of the Synod of Bishops, he added, “not only to fight for our freedom on the battlefield against the Russian aggressor but also to defend the truth on the information front.”

Eastern model?

His Beatitude Sviatoslav also will be participating in the October assembly of the Synod on Synodality. While he will come to it with a very different idea of what synodality means, the Ukrainian Catholic Church, as well as other Eastern Churches, are not unfamiliar with the kind of broad consultation process the Latin Church has recently been undertaking.

“There is a process that the Ukrainian Catholic Church has called a ‘sobor,’ which is this gathering of different lay people of different professions, different priests, and in different places to talk about issues facing the Church and to look at these bigger issues,” said Fr. Morozowich. “So I think certainly as we strive together as a community of believers that the experience of the Eastern Churches and specifically the Eastern Catholic Churches can help to see both the strengths and the weaknesses, because these are all in a sense human endeavors.”

Said Fr. Morozowich, “One of things that Francis has been very clear about is that he wants the Church to be seen as a field hospital, as a place where people can come and feel the mercy of God and be healed, and I believe part of this synodal process is to allow those words to come forward so the pastors can hear more clearly the concerns of the faithful and can respond and find new ways of being alive, new ways of allowing this field hospital to function.”

Complete Article HERE!

The Pope urges journalists to tell the Synod as it truly is

— “Leave behind the logic of slogans and pre-packaged stories,” the Pope said, emphasizing how the Synod on Synodality is “truly important for the Church.”

By Isabella H. de Carvalho

“I dare to ask you, the experts of journalism, for help: Help me to narrate this process for what it really is,” Pope Francis told a delegation of Italian journalists on August 26, 2023, regarding the Synod on Synodality. The journalists had come to the Vatican to award the Pontiff the “It’s Journalism” prize for his efforts to promote truth and justice. While certain voices are concerned about where the Synod may lead, Francis took this meeting as an opportunity to urge journalists to depict “reality” when reporting on this process, which he sees as important for the Church and the world.

The Synod on Synodality on the future of the Church was initiated by Pope Francis in 2021. It has featured a diocesan and continental phase where Catholic faithful all over the world were able to share and discern on how they see the Church today and in the future.

The next phase is coming soon, in October 2023 with a General Assembly in Rome, and then another meeting in 2024.

An “urgency of constructive communication”

Pope Francis started his speech to the journalists by highlighting that he does not usually accept awards, and did not do so even before becoming Pontiff. However, he accepted this one because of the “urgency of constructive communication” needed in society, “which fosters the culture of encounter and not of confrontation.”

He thus told the journalists he had a “request for help.”

“But I am not asking you for money, rest assured!” he joked. The Pontiff called on journalists to help him “narrate” the Synod on Synodality “for what it really is, leaving behind the logic of slogans and pre-packaged stories.”

“Someone said: ‘The only truth is reality.’ Yes, reality. We will all benefit from this, and I am sure that this too ‘is journalism,’” he said, echoing the title of the prize he received.

“Precisely at this time, when there is much talk and little listening, and when the sense of the common good is in danger of weakening, the Church as a whole has embarked on a journey to rediscover the word together,” the Pope said, explaining how in October bishops and lay people will come together for the Synod. “Listening together, discerning together, praying together. The word together is very important.”


No one is excluded

The Pontiff acknowledged not everyone may be enthusiastic about the Synod, but emphasized why he believes this process is fundamental for the Church’s future and has roots dating back to the end of the Second Vatican Council.

“I am well aware that speaking of a ‘Synod on Synodality‘ may seem something abstruse, self-referential, excessively technical, of little interest to the general public. But what has happened over the past year, which will continue with the assembly next October and then with the second stage of Synod 2024, is something truly important for the Church,” he said.

“Please, let us get used to listening to each other, to talking, not cutting our heads off for a word. To listen, to discuss in a mature way. This is a grace we all need in order to move forward,” he added.

“And it is something the Church today offers the world, a world so often so incapable of making decisions, even when our very survival is at stake. We are trying to learn a new way of living relationships, listening to one another to hear and follow the voice of the Spirit. […] That word of the Gospel that is so important: everyone.”


The four sins of journalism

The Pope also underlined that journalists play a crucial role in a society where “everyone seems to comment on everything, even regardless of the facts and often even before being informed.”

He encouraged them to “cultivate more the principle of reality – reality is superior to the idea, always.”

He identified four “sins of journalism” that reporters need to be aware of : “disinformation, when journalism does not inform or informs badly; slander (sometimes this is used); defamation, which is different from slander but destroys; and the fourth is coprophilia, that is, the love of scandal, of filth; scandal sells. Disinformation is the first of the sins, the mistakes – let’s say – of journalism.”

“I am concerned, for example, about the manipulations of those who interestingly propagate fake news to steer public opinion,” he said. “Please, let us not give in to the logic of opposition, let us not be influenced by the language of hatred.”

Complete Article HERE!

Four ways the Catholic Church can actually listen more to young people

— Pope Francis traveled to Lisbon, Portugal, for his fourth World Youth Day, to listen to the hopes, challenges and questions of over one million young Catholics from every corner of the global Church.

Pope Francis travelled to Lisbon, Portugal, for his fourth World Youth Day, to listen to the hopes, challenges and questions of over one million young Catholics from every corner of the global Church.

Pope Francis travelled to Lisbon, Portugal, for his fourth World Youth Day, to listen to the hopes, challenges and questions of over one million young Catholics from every corner of the global Church. He met with sexual abuse survivors, Ukrainian pilgrims, university students, young people suffering from illness; and he challenged them all to work for a “hope-filled future.”

A much smaller contingent of young people will have the Pope’s ear this October in Rome at the first of two month-long meetings of the Synod on Synodality, on the themes of Communion, Participation and Mission in 2023 and 2024. For the first time in history, lay people will have the right to vote in a synod, and among the voting members are college students and men and women in their 20s and 30s.

The Pope has said, “Synod means walking on the same road, walking together.” As we embark on this new path in the life of the Church, what are some guidelines to consider when thinking about listening to, and walking with, young people?

1. Youth do not share a common perspective
Young people are not a monolith. It can be unhelpful and reductive to speak about any group in the Church as a unified bloc. In a similar way, we should avoid speaking of “young people” as if they all share a common perspective on, or experience of, Church. There are young Catholics who are drawn to more traditional liturgies and those who feel at home in a Catholic Worker House, and some find deep meaning in both. There are young Catholics who feel hurt and alienated by the Church’s teaching on sexuality and others who see the Church’s countercultural witness as a bulwark in a destabilising, relativistic world.

There are hundreds of thousands more who have not set foot in a church since their baptism or confirmation. Outside the US Church, there are young people fighting in and fleeing from the war in Ukraine; young migrants risking their lives in the Mediterranean and on the Rio Grande; and others struggling in refugee camps across the Middle East and Africa.

When framed in this way, “listening to young people” can start to seem an impossible task. But this way of speaking may also shed some light on the sometimes opaque concept of synodality. If we are to truly listen to all these young voices, it will take more than a Vatican meeting or survey. It will require a new way of being Church, a Church that accompanies its people and is attuned to their hopes, doubts and lived experiences.

2. Offer something different
The Church must admit its failures and offer something different. The working document for the synod says that a synodal Church is one that “seeks to widen the scope of communion, but which must come to terms with the contradictions, limits and wounds of history.” Most young Catholics today have known only a Church marred by the sexual abuse scandal — but that does not mean they see it as ancient history. While the Church has made great strides in the protection of children and vulnerable adults, the revelations remain shocking for each new generation of Catholics as they mature. Church leaders must be forthright with young Catholics about past failures and transparent in their ongoing efforts to hold accountable those who covered up abuse. For young people to show up at the table, they have to trust they are speaking with adults who have their best interests at heart.

But the Church has failed young people in other, more subtle ways. It can be easy to blame secular culture, or even young people themselves, for the exodus of millennials and Gen Zers from the pews. And there is plenty to critique about modern society. But we should ask ourselves: Have we failed to offer something different? Studies show that Gen Z is the loneliest generation. If these young people are not finding community in parishes, have we been bold enough in searching for new models of relationship?

In a world marked by deep polarisation, have Catholics too often indulged in those divides instead of seeking to be agents of reconciliation?

Young people today are hungry for authentic communion, both with other people and with God, but they are sceptical of institutions and allergic to hypocrisy. To be credible in their eyes, Catholics should be honest about our shortcomings but unafraid to go against the grain of an increasingly flattened, materialistic world.

3. The Church cannot act like everybody else
Listening to young people does not mean idolising youth. In his book God Is Young, Pope Francis writes: “Adolescents seek confrontation, they ask questions, they challenge everything, they look for answers. I can’t stress enough how important it is to question everything.” But he has also said that the Church cannot think “she is young because she accepts everything the world offers her, thinking that she is renewed because she sets her message aside and acts like everybody else.”

There are many young people in the Church — and many more who have left — who want to see Church teaching, especially where it relates to women, LGBTQ people and divorced Catholics, better aligned with more modern values. Those voices will be represented at the synod and should be listened to, not for show but with an ear for where the Holy Spirit may be working through them. Serious discernment will be needed to find our way forward, and that will require the wisdom from within the Church that has spanned the ages, too.

4. Be willing to accept
Ask for more, not less, from young people. Among the delegates from the United States who will have the right to vote in October’s synod is Julia Oseka, a junior at St Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. When asked what emerged from her synodal conversations over the past two years, she said, “[T]he feeling that young people are not merely the future of the Church, but also the now of the Church.” While much discussion around the synod has rightly focused on Catholics with one foot in and one foot out of the Church, we should not neglect the millions of young people already active in the Church who are eager for their gifts to be more often accepted.

There are small steps we can take today, like making sure young people are invited to serve on parish councils — and that parish meetings accommodate the schedules of working adults and young parents — that could foster greater involvement among young people. But as the synod looks at more fundamental structural reforms to Church governance, participants should not overlook or underestimate the skills, energy and dedication young people are already prepared to offer the Church.

Young people will always be among us, and as Pope Francis said at his first World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro in 2013, they are sometimes called to “make a mess.” The Church’s job is not to clean up after them but to harness their restless, creative energy in service of the kingdom.

Complete Article HERE!