Synod on Youth preparing to discuss the final document

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Synod on Youth preparing to discuss the final document

By Iacopo Scaramuzzi/ lastampa.it

The Synod on Youth, which began on Wednesday, October 3 and will end next Sunday, October 28, is preparing to discuss, and then vote on, the final document. Today the Synod Fathers had a day of "vacation", "all except those who are working in the commissions in charge of the Letter to the Youth and the final document, which will be presented tomorrow”, the Prefect of the Department for Communication, Paolo Ruffini said during the daily briefing in the Vatican Press Room.

After the presentation of the draft, tomorrow, the members of the Synod will have "until Wednesday" to discuss and - "as individuals or in groups" - propose amendments to the text, which will then be read and voted on, point by point, by the assembly meeting on Saturday, which will end with the final speeches. On Thursday, in the meantime, a pilgrimage will take place along the last stretch of the Via Francigena in Rome, from the park of Monte Mario to St. Peter's, and on Friday the assembly will elect the next Council of the Synod. On Sunday, with the mass presided over by the Pope, the Synod will end.

At the Synod, as Monsignor David Macaire of Martinique said, "We have come from different countries, with different opinions, I'm not saying that there were real oppositions but we come from different realities, there were also some harsh discussions, in my language group when for example we spoke of people who rather stay single, a pastoral reality for the bishops of Canada, for myself and for the French bishops, but for the Eastern bishops this was not something immediately understood: we had to explain, that single people "are not necessarily people who refuse marriage", and thanks to confrontation we listened and understood each other".

At the Synod a video made by a group of Iraqi boys was shown and delivered by Safa Al Abbia, a Chaldean auditor who had to return to his country early to be with his sick mother. His speech on the fate of Christians in the Middle East was among the most applauded. Before leaving Rome he expressed his desire to meet the Pope, who he immediately accepted, addressing words of encouragement to all Iraqi children.

The Jesuit Paolo Bizzeti, Apostolic Vicar in Anatolia and Synod Father, spoke at today's briefing: "What kind of world have we created for young people? We have failed in creating a world in which young people can work, create roads for their lives. We should solemnly ask the young for forgiveness," he said. "We have created a world in which young people find it hard to fit in. Young people have the impression that there is no place for them in the world. Perhaps we have given them too many useless things, or we have deprived them of possibilities. How is it possible to speak of discernment when so many young people in the world have no choice, when their lives are planned from an early age so that they can fight for survival or run away from their countries?

Father Bizzeti also stressed the unique value of the synodal assembly ("Which world agency is so in touch with the problems of people like the Catholic Church?") and pointed out some "shadow" of the method of the synodal work: "The way of proceeding the work lacks some method perhaps: one should concentrate more on some basic questions, even by discussing them in a heartfelt way, one cannot delegate everything to those who work out tens and hundreds of pages for the concluding proposals... there is an excessive wealth of themes, one must have the courage to impoverish oneself, one can die of misery but also of wealth!

As for the situation in Turkey, Monsignor Bizzeti, responding to a question, explained that, "work are in progress" on the process of beatification of Don Andrea Santoro, a missionary assassinated on 5 February 2006 in Trebizondas, while for the process of beatification of Monsignor Luigi Padovese, his predecessor as Apostolic Vicar of Anatolia assassinated in Iskenderun on 3 June 2010, "unfortunately the fact that for five years there was no successor bishop, has now made it very difficult to collect the material: we are evaluating, but too much time has passed, some witnesses of the time are no longer there, so it seems to me it will be a bit complicated. The fact remains - the Jesuit concluded - that they are two completely unjustified murders".

The U.S. Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, Bishop of Bridgeportm, for his part, stressed that "sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults is a crime and a sin and must have no place in the Church, and at the Synod there is consensus that we must speak to young people in an empathetic way and let them know the seriousness of what happened and that we are committed to rebuilding credibility and trust. Every bishop in my opinion must decide how best to regain that trust - the prelate said - there is a universal agreement among bishops that this should be done".

Henriette Camara, a young woman, auditor and member of the Catholic scouts of Guinea, stressed how, coming from a Muslim family, she was "welcomed by the movement with open arms, without discrimination or conditions". Father Angel Fernandez Artime, Major Rector of the Salesians, finally took part in the briefing, who among other things stressed that the Synod must avoid the risk of a "too Eurocentric and Western" approach, because "the Church is of all colors, races and languages, and we must all think of as universal: but I believe that the synod won’t run this danger".

Tue, 10/23/2018 - 11:40
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