08 December 2018
After the Synod

Young People, a “Litmus Test” for the Church

In a Roman parish, the Synod Father, Monsignor Frisina recounted his experiences
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“Accompany young people, walk beside them in their history, enter into their dynamics as Saint Giovanni Bosco preached”. It was in this way that Monsignor Marco Frisina, Synod Father and Choir Director for the Roman dioceses, summarised the final objectives of the Assembly which, in October, gathered together 267 Synod Fathers and 34 young persons.

The meeting, held in the Roman parish of Saint John the Baptist De Rossi, was an occasion for Monsignor Frisina to describe the Synod behind the scenes. He told the young people about a typical Synod day divided among prayer, the work of the assembly – in which Pope Francis always participated – the meetings of the commissions and the “lengthy voting”.  A Synod in which young people were an active part: although they did not have the right to vote they were able to intervene and their contribution “has been precious”.

Frisina defined it as an “intense Church experience, a mini Council” because the bishops and auditors came from all nations. He recalled some of the themes dealt with, such as the liturgy, sexuality, internet and migrations.   At times, young people are seen by the Church as an “object for study”, but it emerged from the work of the Assembly that they are “evangelizers” and the Church must accompany them like a Mother, not study them as if they were “a phenomenon”. Since they are a “litmus test for the Church”, they must be motivated, not “mortified in their positivity and their prophetic spirit”. In the Synod Hall, he recalled, there were bishops from all over the world with different cultures and the “concept of accompaniment was a little difficult for some, who would clearly like to cut out understanding. But young people are not all the same and they must all be welcomed”. Another phenomenon about which it is no longer possible “to bury one’s head in the sand like an ostrich” is internet, in the use of which young people should be guided.  In this regard, the Church, he concluded, “should take heed that it is a necessary instrument that must be used more and well”.