Young people can teach the church, pope says

By Cindy Wooden,13 September 2020
Pope Francis at World Youth Day 2019 in Panama. Image: James Logan/Panama2019.


Young Catholics are giving the church a valuable lesson in the real meaning of “synodality,” Pope Francis wrote.

“They have asked us in a thousand ways to walk alongside them — not behind them or ahead of them, but at their side. Not over them or under them, but on their level,” he wrote in the introduction to a new Italian book of essays about youth ministry.

Salesian Father Rossano Sala, one of the special secretaries of the 2018 Synod of Bishops on young people, wrote the book, “Around the Living Fire of the Synod: Educating for the Good Life of the Gospel.”

“Discernment” was one of the key topics at the synod and in “Christus Vivit,” Pope Francis’ 2019 post-synod apostolic exhortation.

In Father Sala’s book, Pope Francis wrote that he is not trying “to transform every member of the people of God into a Jesuit,” the order that has specialised in teaching spiritual discernment or prayerfully reading the signs of the times and seeking to know how God wants individuals and the church to respond.

Some people, he said, think “the pressing call to discernment is a fad of this pontificate and it is destined to pass quickly,” but Pope Francis insisted the spiritual practice is essential today when things are changing quickly, many people are struggling and so many need to hear the Gospel.

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With thanks to Catholic News Service (CNS) and Cindy Wooden, where this article originally appeared.


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