Ecumenism and synodality: the IYAB youth at the ecumenical prayer vigil for the Synod
Before Pope Francis, 18,000 people gathered together entrusting the work of the Synod to the Holy Spirit
With their testimonies, Agatha, Emile and Tilen: three young members of the IYAB - the Youth Advisory Body established by the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life - opened Together, the Ecumenical Prayer Vigil. This Gathering of the People of God took place on Saturday, September 30, in St. Peter's Square, in the presence of the Holy Father and many leaders and heads of Christian Churches.
The testimony of the IYAB youth on the themes of synodality and unity marked the beginning of two hours of songs, prayer and testimonies on themes dear to all Christian churches such as care for Creation, care for the most fragile and marginalized and the commitment to peace.
Synodal journey, baptismal dignity and listening: toward a renewed commitment for a synodal and missionary Church
"We are here as members of the International Youth Advisory Board created by the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life as a product of the Synod on Youth," said Agatha of Indonesia. "We are committed to supporting the synodal journey in our local churches. We thank all those around the world who participated in the consultation, especially the youth and all those who are the driving force behind the process. We would like to thank Christians from other Churches and Christian communities who have embraced this journey with the Catholic Church. We have witnessed a life-giving creativity in the way synod teams have listened to and communicated the voices of all, especially those most poor and those living on the outskirts."
In his testimony, Emile, from Lebanon, emphasized that: "There is no synodality without ecumenism and no ecumenism without synodality. Both are rooted in the baptismal dignity of the entire people of God. Together they urge a renewed commitment to the vision of a missionary synodal Church”.
Lastly, Tilen, of Slovenia: "We commit ourselves to grow as a Church which listens, meets and promotes dialogue, in order to radiate communion and to increasingly be a sign and instrument of the unity of all humanity."
Silence so as to hear the Father's voice, the call of Jesus, and the groaning of the Spirit
The Prayer Vigil continued with the other touching testimonies, and after eight minutes of silence and personal meditation, Pope Francis delivered an address precisely on the meaning of silence: “in common prayer we ask to learn again to be silent: to listen to the voice of the Father, the call of Jesus and the groaning of the Spirit. Let us ask that the Synod be a kairós of fraternity, a place where the Holy Spirit will purify the Church from gossip, ideologies and polarization”.
The Vigil, organized by the Taizé Community in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, the Dicastery for the Promotion of Christian Unity, the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life and the Vicariate of Rome, involved some 50 international Church organizations, groups and movements.
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