Vatican - Acknowledging, Interpreting, Choosing: steps of the Church towards young

21 June 2018

(ANS - Vatican City) - "Beware of blaming young people for their distance from the Church"; instead, proceed towards an "institutional conversion, which concerns the way we live and work together". These are some of the suggestions offered by Salesian Fr Rossano Sala, SDB, Special Secretary of the Synod of Bishops on "Youth, faith and vocational discernment", during the press conference to present the Instrumentum Laboris of the Synod - the working document for the synod fathers.

Fr Sala's intervention was based on the current state wherein the Church can exercise its mission. For this reason, the first proposed step was to acknowledge or recognize today's "anthropological and cultural challenges": the relationship with corporeity and affection, the new methods of informing oneself and relating to the truth, the profound effects of the digital world on individuals, the disappointment towards traditional institutions, "the culture of indecision", spiritual nostalgia ...

The second passage concerns a new form of interpreting the vocational issue, setting aside the narrow vision for which the Vocation Ministry regards only vocations to the ministry and the consecrated life: "The loss of vocational culture has made us fall into a society without ties and without quality," said Fr. Sala, adding that it is only in view of a vocational search in a broad sense that young people may develop a solid and well-balanced character.

Subsequently, Fr. Sala presented the decisive phase of choice: it is at this stage that the ecclesial institutions must have the courage to up the ante, challenge themselves fully. First of all, by being close to children on a daily basis in an accompanying process that expresses "the undisputed and indisputable primacy of daily life for the pastoral care of young people". And then, truly making manifest the fraternity and the community as locations and sites wherein it is, indeed, beautiful to grow up as a child or young person, environments of communion versus a world that pushes towards isolation.

Finally, Fr. Sala emphasized an element which pervades, almost unseen, or under the radar, the whole document and which also constitutes a typical Salesian trait: the commitment to give more to those who have less: it is in this pastoral concern for the poor and the needy that the credibility of the Church is played out, and it is through the proposals of voluntary action and service that so many young people come to seek and question their own vocation and their own individual role in the community of believers.



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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