Words of welcome of Card. Lorenzo Baldisseri
WORDS OF WELCOME AT THE INTERNATIONAL YOUTH FORUM
YOUTH IN ACTION IN A SYNODAL CHURCH
I am happy to address you at the beginning of this International Forum to greet you all and to tell you of my joy at being here with you. This meeting, which has as its theme, “Youth in action in a Synodal Church”, is definitely a post-synodal meeting, following on from last October’s Assembly which was dedicated to you, dear young people. As Secretary General I am here to accompany this stage in the synodal process, the third, and to tell you that “the Synod never ends”, as mentioned yesterday at the press conference. I thank the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, the prefect, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, the secretary, Rev. Alexandre Awi Mello, Rev. João Chagas and all the staff for all they are doing to carry forward the application of the synodal process, and for this brilliant initiative, which, among others, is a true post-synodal meeting. It is like passing the baton in a relay where all run to reach the goal. They all reach out to the world of young people by involving them. That is how we go forward together, work together and feel at ease together. Young people should know that they are the leading characters in this race, in this adventure. They are the subject and not the object. They want to build up the society of the future by starting from the present. The goal is to bring love, beauty and the happiness of living and helping everyone to live a particular experience, albeit adventurous, of faith and sharing and fellowship.
Let me say that I feel part of the family here with you. I have already met some of you on several occasions during the long and fascinating journey of the Synod. How can we fail to remember the days of the pre-synodal meeting in March 2018, when you enthusiastically came together to draw up a document that would bring the voices of young people into the hall where the Synod Fathers would meet? And we cannot forget the experience of the Synodal Assembly last October which made those who took part in it 'living synods', as the interim Director of the Press Office of the Holy See said yesterday at the press conference presenting this event.
Throughout this time, we have worked together, we have rejoiced together, we have prayed together, and we have dreamed together of being able to help the Church to rejuvenate itself, and we have committed ourselves so that this may happen. It seems to me that the results have been good and abundant. Those of you who participated in the press conference yesterday are witnesses to this. You pointed out the various initiatives that have been undertaken in your home countries. I am sure that this Forum will help to make these fruits even more abundant. We owe it to the many young people who are in search of meaning in their lives, to those who await a word of friendship and comfort, to those who, perhaps without knowing it, are now ready to welcome Jesus and the Good News that he addresses to them.
In the concluding words of Christus Vivit (no. 299), Pope Francis reaffirmed the trust he has in you, young people, and in the contribution you can make in building a better future for all. The Church needs your enthusiasm, your insights and your faith.
The coming days will have an interesting and demanding task for you ‒ that of identifying how the many suggestions that have emerged from the Synod and from the apostolic exhortation of the Holy Father can be put into practice and become part of the fabric of the daily life of young people and of the Church. I am sure that you will carry out this task with the enthusiasm, insight and faith that Pope Francis attributes to young people.
Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri
General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops