Spain – Do young people feel listened to by the Church?

06 November 2017

(ANS - Seville) - In a meeting of young people from various ecclesial movements, the question was: "Do young people feel listened to by the Church?" On the one hand, the answers contribute to a true reflection on the role of young people in relation to the Church; but on the other, it calls on young people to engage in "a Church that belongs to everyone." At the Pope's meeting with youth, he said: "Church and society need you. With your approaches, with the courage you have, with your dreams and ideals."

Ernest Casaponsa, a 30-year-old with a Lasallian youth background, began the dialogue with a striking sentence: "In the Church, those who do not live the Church decide." "Even if we talk about women, we don't invite women; even if we talk about young people, we are not invited." If they occasionally do so, he added, "it is the most the Church does, but ecclesiastically speaking: women and young people do not exist."

One of the dangers of the Church is "that changes are produced by necessity and not by conviction," added Òscar Millán; this is the case, he claimed, of women, there "when men can't."

"If you look at the nominations of Pope Francis, one sees some women in the Dicasteries," said Manuel Olid of the Salesian Youth Movement. "The local Church has already made this change. If you look at parish councils, who coordinates the catechists? Who leads the liturgy? The majority of the votes in the pastoral councils are female, the voice of the parishes is feminine."

For Gisela Pruna, supernumerary of Opus Dei, it is clear the Church must modernize itself, but it does not imply a change in the message. For her, the problem lies not only in a lack of adaptation, but in not having truly understood the Gospel.

Manu, for his part, focused on how faith should be transmitted; clearly, he said, "a parish without young people does not attract other young people."

One of the important challenges for the Church is "doing pedagogy of the language used". Héctor Ganivet, of the bishopric of Sant Feliu de Llobregat, acknowledged that young Christians often find themselves "in a mine field, where we must avoid the concepts known to trigger alarms, create walls and block the discourse."

What has become clear at the meeting is that one must continue to wager on an open Church where, according to Abril Fabà, "there will be room for people who years ago, perhaps, did not feel identified and are part of new social realities."


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.

This site also uses third-party cookies to improve user experience and for statistical purposes. By scrolling through this page or by clicking on any of its elements, you consent to the use of cookies. To learn more or to opt out, click "Further Information".