A Recap of the First Week of the Synod of Bishops 2018

Oct 7, 2018 | Cardinals and Bishops, Ecclesiastical News, Youth & Vocations Ministry

Rome, Italy. Its been five days since the XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment started. Here’s a recap of what has transpired during the interventions and discussions during these past days.

The very first thing that the Synod participants did was to pray that God will lead these three weeks of assembly. Pope Francis gave his opening discourse, hoped and said that the synod should be a time to share and, above all, to listen; for too often, no attention has been paid to the voice of young people. He invited the participants that they should keep quiet for 3 minutes after every 4 or 5 interventions to assimilate what has been heard. As the discourse progressed, he spoke on clericalism to dissuade those who believe that their vocation implies power instead of service and to persuade the participants that this may not prevail in the Synod. And towards the end, he jestingly invited the participants to not get carried away by pessimism.

As the days progressed, they have already addressed multiple issues, from immigration which mainly affects young people, to the credibility of the Church, to affectivity as well as sexuality. During the third and fourth sessions, they have discussed other social, political and religious problems that weigh on youth. Also discussed was the question of premarital relationships and the difficulty to explain morals without young people feeling judged, hurt, and felt being driven away from the Church.

On Friday, one of the Synod Fathers, Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney, apologized to the young people on behalf of Church leaders, not just for the Church’s mishandling of sex abuse, but also in failing to address catechetical and pastoral failures, for poor preaching, for catechesis or spiritual direction of priests that fails to convert.

On Saturday, the fourth day of the Synod, a two hour festive “journey into the world of youth” was held at the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican. Thousands young people expressed to the pope their questions, touching on life, political commitment, employment, individualism, loneliness, social networks, young people far from the Church – more work for the Synod Fathers though. It was an evening full of emotions, songs, choreography, and humor. There were also testimonies from diverse type of young people with different experiences and realities in life. Some of the Claretians in Rome joined this gathering with the Pope.

“Make your way, be on the way, look at the horizon and not on the mirror, do not just sit on the couch like retirees at the age of 24. If you want to live as a Christian, live the beatitudes, not worldliness or clericalism,” says Pope Francis as he encourage the youth.


On Sunday, 7th of October, the Synod Fathers had a break and our brother, one of the Synod Fathers, Msgr. Ruben Antonio Gonzalez Medina, CMF, Bishop of Ponce, Puerto Rico visited the community of the General Curia in Parioli. We have asked him to say some words regarding the Synod, as well as his hopes and dreams for this Synod.


Disciples and missionaries so that in Jesus Christ we may have life and life in abundance. I come with this American slogan. We come to the Synod full of hope. We look forward to this project of working together, bishops from all over the world reflecting, dialoging, sharing, and listening to the youth. From what reality? From what we have to acknowledge [matters] that we have not done, ask forgiveness in the things that we have done wrong, interpret these realities, these concerns and questions that the youth posits on us. What for? To act accordingly with a new perspective, a look full of hope, full of illusion, a vision that makes us understand and comprehend that all, pastors and peoples, we are disciples. But disciples who do not stay with arms crossed, but disciples who open themselves to the mission, to hope, to tell the world [that] “in Jesus Christ there is life, in Jesus Christ there is communion, in Jesus Christ, especially today, [there is] perfect joy.” Courage, God bless you!” – Msgr. Ruben Antonio Gonzalez Medina, CMF, Synod Father.

News Categories


claretian martyrs icon
Clotet Year - Año Clotet
global citizen

Documents – Documentos