Rom, Italien. Vor fünf Tagen hat die 15. ordentliche Generalversammlung der Bischofssynode über die jungen Menschen, den Glauben und die Berufungsfindung begonnen. Hier eine Zusammenfassung dessen, was aus den Beiträgen und Diskussionen der vergangenen Tage nach außen gedrungen ist.
Als allererstes beteten die Synodenteilnehmer, Gott möge diese drei Wochen der Versammlung leiten. Papst Franziskus hielt seine Eröffnungsrede, hoffte und sagte, die Synode solle eine Zeit des Austausches und vor allem des Zuhörens sein, denn so oft habe man auf die Stimme der jungen Menschen nicht geachtet. Er lud die Teilnehmer ein, drei Minuten lang Stille zu halten nach jeweils vier oder fünf Beiträgen, um das Gehörte aufzunehmen. Im weiteren Verlauf der Rede sprach er über den Klerikalismus, um diejenigen von ihrer Meinung abzubringen, die Glauben, ihre Berufung bedeute Macht statt Dienst, und die Teilnehmer zu überzeugen, dass das in der Synode nicht vorherrschen dürfe. Und gegen Ende lud er die Teilnehmer scherzend ein, sich nicht vom Pessimismus mitreißen zu lassen.
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.