Italy – Playing an active role in Church and Society: Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga on the Synod of Youth

03 May 2017

(ANS - Rome) - "We do not want to answer only questions that come from our own heads or exchange our knowledge - otherwise we will always say the same things. We really want to study deeply the situation of today's youth", those who “attend Church", but “also those who have never entered a church, those who are in prison, involved in drugs or organized crime." This is the view of Salesian Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, on the forthcoming Synod of Bishops (October 2018) on "Young People, Faith and Vocation Discernment".

The Salesian Cardinal is very close to Pope Francis and for this reason was appointed by him as Coordinator of the Group of Cardinals set up by the Pope to advise him on the government of the Church. He expressed these views on 27 April during a meeting promoted by the Pontifical Lateran University (PUL).

According to the Rector of PUL, Bishop Enrico dal Covolo, the meeting "was part of the journey of preparation for the Synod”. Its purpose was "to discover the expectations of young people from the Synod itself".

Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga spoke in broad terms on the whole reality of youth, the Church’s expectations of them, and their desire for change. The cardinal emphasized two basic options for today's youth: "to give young people an active role to play" and help them "to return to the community". On the first aspect, he emphasized that "young people are not just numbers." They have the ability to play an active part, but to do so they have to get out of the isolation where they feel relegated. This partly depends on the modern communicative modes that claim to create community but actually deceive. They foster loneliness instead. And it is in this regard that the cardinal recalled "one of the characteristics of the period after the council", which was "the desire to grow youth communities, not just youth groups but communities where faith, ideas and programmes of life are shared".

This organized role of young people can produce enormous benefits for the common good. This is "one of the chief principles of the Church's social doctrine".  He said, "when there are many young people who have many ideals and who do not just look after themselves but want to change the community, politics will change."


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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