Bishops at the Youth Synod © Paul Haring (CBA)
At the end of the third week, the 14 language groups of the Youth Synod presented their reflections on the third part of the working document. For the German-speaking groups, the main ies are women, digitalization and sexuality.
The Catholic News Agency (KNA) documents the German-language group's text, which was distributed by the Vatican, in a slightly abbreviated form.
The German-speaking group perceived the interventi on the third part of the Instrumentum laboris differently. Some found it very moving, diverse and enriching – and especially hopeful especially where Christians are poor, where they are minorities, where they are in a war situation or persecuted.
Others have perceived a kind of helplessness in the question of how to proceed after all that has been heard. What will change after the synod? If there are concrete new forms of being church with young people, there will be voluntary commitments by the bishops? What will the bishops say about the ies that keep coming up – the questions about justice for women, the ies of sexual morality and sexual abuse in the church, the questions about political and environmental engagement, about youth participation, about liturgy that is welcoming to young people, about access to education, about migration.
Many statements also referred to the centrality of the Christ relationship for engagement in the Church and the world, and the need to have good companions here. The group then decides to (…) to bring in individual modes with clear accents. We propose that Cardinal Vincent Nichols' intervento on human trafficking be included in its entirety in the final document. In addition, as a group, we also want to join the appeal in Cardinal Cupich's Intervento to political leaders around the world.
Strengthening the role of women
We also bring our own modes to the following ies: We believe that the role of women in the church in decision-making and leadership responsibilities should be significantly strengthened. In a separate mode, we want to highlight once again in detail the possibilities of digitalization for evangelization and participation in educational opportunities for young people, while also pointing out the risks of the Internet for young people.
We want a serious debate with young people in the church about the topics of sexuality and partnership. We want to emphasize in a separate mode the importance of leading young people into a personal relationship with Christ through forms of liturgy and prayer, accompaniment and social engagement.
We bring in other modes on the following topics: on catechesis through the Youcat family books, on youth commitment to ecology, on youth participation in the Church, on subsidiarity in the Church, on movements and associations as places of being Church.
Finally, we introduce a mode that contains 24 concrete proposals, as inviting examples of how the bishops concretely carry out a conversio in their dioceses – for their personal lives, but also for the work for and with young people.
Recognizing the needs of young people
Here are eight examples (…): – The resolution to fast personally on a regular basis, to pray novenas regularly, or to support young people with a part of one's private income – The concrete resolution to meet regularly with young people, especially with the less privileged young people – The resolution to decide anew on the option for youth in the diocese and to make this visible also through concrete pastoral measures and financial reallocations. – The intention to identify concrete youth needs in the diocese and to help alleviate them (e.g.B. The resolution to create counseling or contact points for young people where they can talk concretely about personal, family, school, health or other problems. – The resolution to invite religious orders or spiritual communities to the diocese that are particularly concerned about young people. – The resolution to invite to a pilgrimage with young people. – The resolution to personally care more intensively about the encounter and formation with seminarians.
Finally, we believe that the final document cannot begin without a clear word about the drama of sexual abuse against children and young people. And we also think that we bishops cannot go home without the firm intention to bring about concrete changes for better prevention and better care for the victims. We have also submitted a mode for this.