06 February 2018
Associations and Movements

The Scouts of Europe on their Way to the Synod

The International Congress of Spiritual Assistants of the European Scouting Federation focuses on the ecclesial dimension and the pastoral consequences of the Holy See’s recognition

Father José Guillermo Gutiérrez Fernández, an official of the Dicastery, spoke a few days ago at the International Congress of Spiritual Assistants of the Federation of European Scouting. The meeting was attended by delegates from 16 European countries as well as representatives from Argentina and the United States.

In his intervention, Fr Gutiérrez focused on the ecclesial dimension and the pastoral consequences of the Holy See’s recognition of the association as an educational movement. “This means that the Church—he explained—after studying the statutes, has verified that they satisfy the criteria of ecclesiality required for every movement considered Catholic to be recognized as such. This entails a serious responsibility, in two directions: on the part of the Church, assuming the responsibility of accompanying the movement; and, on the part of the movement, the commitment to live in accordance with the criteria that ensure ecclesial communion and its Catholic identity.

Recalling that the Gospel is the “soul” of scouting, Fr Gutiérrez invited them never to neglect the explicit invitation addressed to young people to reflect, starting at an early age, on the specific call that God addresses to each of us. “A call—he adds—which may be to marriage, to the priesthood, to consecrated life, or, in special cases to be well discerned, to life in celibacy dedicated to a noble cause. Finally, he recalled that the Catholic identity comes into play when facilitating the young people's encounter with Jesus Christ so that they may become his disciples and missionaries.”

The Dicastery’s official also presided over a Mass concelebrated by over 150 participating priests.