Pope Francis at synod: “A church that does not listen…cannot be credible” to young people
We at OMC whole heartedly support both our Bishop and our Pope, both of whom have been listening to the hearts and minds of parishioners in these troubled times.
Below are some excerpts from the Pope’s address to the Bishops’ Synod on Young People on October 3rd as reported by Gerard O’Connell for America Magazine. If you would like to read the article in it’s entirety, please click here: America Magazine
Excerpts from original article below:
“We need to rediscover the reasons for our hope and, above all, to pass them on to young people who are thirsting for hope,” Pope Francis said in his keynote address to the first plenary session of the synod on “young people, the faith and vocational discernment,” on Oct. 3.
Speaking in the Vatican’s synod hall, Francis reminded the roughly 350 participants that the Second Vatican Council affirmed that “we can justly consider that the future of humanity lies in the hands of those who are strong enough to provide coming generations with reasons for living and hoping.”
Francis began his talk by thanking the many thousands of young people across the globe who have engaged with the synod process and “wagered that it is worth the effort to feel part of the church or to enter into dialogue with her; worth the effort to have the church as a mother, as a teacher, as a home, as a family, and, despite human weaknesses and difficulties, capable of radiating and conveying Christ’s timeless message; worth the effort to hold onto the boat of the church, which, despite the world’s cruel storms, continues to offer shelter and hospitality to everyone; worth the effort to listen to one another; worth the effort to swim against the tide and be bound by lofty values: family, fidelity, love, faith, sacrifice, service, eternal life.”
“Our responsibility here is not to undermine [young people] but rather to show that they are right to wager. It truly is worth the effort; it is not a waste of time!”
He told the 247 synod fathers from the Latin and Eastern rite Catholic churches: “Our responsibility here is not to undermine [young people] but rather to show that they are right to wager. It truly is worth the effort; it is not a waste of time!”
Echoing St. John XXIII’s advice to the opening session of Vatican II in 1962, Francis told them: “Do not let yourselves be tempted by the prophets of doom; do not spend your energy on keeping score of failures and holding on to reproaches. Keep your gaze fixed on the good that often makes no sound; it is neither a topic for blogs, nor front page news.”
“Your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.”
Standing between Italian Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the secretary general of the synod, and Brazilian Cardinal Sergio da Rocha, the relator general of the assembly, Francis noted most of those present are not young—only 34 are under the age of 29. Nevertheless, he reminded participants that “the meeting between generations can be extremely fruitful for giving rise to hope,” as the prophet Joel teaches: “Your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.”
“Humility in listening must correspond to courage in speaking,”
“Humility in listening must correspond to courage in speaking,” the pope said. Repeating what he had told the young people at the March pre-synod meeting, he said, “If you say something I do not like, I have to listen even more, because everyone has the right to be heard, just as everyone has the right to speak.”
“the first fruit of this dialogue is that everyone is open to newness, to change their opinions thanks to what they have heard from others.”
He insisted the synod “must be an exercise in dialogue,” and “the first fruit of this dialogue is that everyone is open to newness, to change their opinions thanks to what they have heard from others.”
“Adults should overcome the temptation to underestimate the abilities of young people and not judge them negatively,” Francis said. “Young people should overcome the temptation to ignore adults and to consider the elderly archaic, outdated and boring, forgetting that it is foolish always to start from scratch as if life began only with each of them.”
Pope Francis told the roughly 250 bishops at the synod (50 of whom are cardinals) that “it is necessary to decisively overcome the scourge of clericalism.” He has denounced clericalism many times and linked it to sexual abuse as well as the abuses of power and conscience.
The pope explained that “clericalism arises from an elitist and exclusivist vision of vocation, that interprets the ministry received as a power to be exercised rather than as a free and generous service to be give…. This leads us to believe that we belong to a group that has all the answers and no longer needs to listen or learn anything.”
Francis denounced clericalism as “a perversion” and “the root of many evils in the church.”
“We must humbly ask forgiveness for this,” he said, “and above all create the conditions so that it is not repeated.”
Pope Francis said he hoped the synod would “plant dreams, draw forth prophecies and visions, allow hope to flourish, inspire trust, bind up wounds, weave together relationships, awaken a dawn of hope, learn from one another and create a bright resourcefulness that will enlighten minds, warm hearts, give strength to our hands and inspire in young people—all young people, with no one excluded—a vision of the future filled with the joy of the Gospel.”