Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP: Synod on Youth Blog Day 15

Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholics, Sviatoslav Shevchuk. PHOTO: CNS

This morning an impressive young Synod Father spoke of the oppression of Ukraine by Russia and consequent mass displacement of young people. Amidst the consequential disorientation they need clear moral guidance and a focus on the natural law of the human ecology, as well as Faith in Jesus Christ.

Metropolitan Hilarion of the Moscow Patriarchate, left. PHOTO: CNS

A representative of the Russian Church spoke of moral relativism among the young and their need for principles, sacraments and – above all – an encounter with the Crucified and Risen Christ. In times when all truths are questioned, we must be even more determined to preach that Truth who is Jesus Christ, the only Truth that frees and heals us.

With representatives from numerous churches, there is quite a collection of clerical hats at the Synod!

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This morning one of the Synod Fathers made a plea for a greater participation of religious women in synods. Women, he pointed out, are underrepresented at this Synod and denied a vote even if they are a Superior-General (whereas lay male superiors-General can vote).

The Turkish bishops asked for a short final text. The invisible lives of clergy and religious should be ‘opened up’ to young people; the kerygma kept short, uncomplicated and interesting; and young people should be better prepared to answer the world’s questions about Jesus.

An Asian bishop said that young people are best helped by working to strengthen their families, then by catechesis and pastoral care in their educational settings, and thirdly by works of the new evangelisation. He said we must exhort them to the beauty of virtue and show them the ugliness of sin.

An African bishop likewise spoke of the corruption in his society that begins with and encourages corruption of individual souls. Young people, he said, must be helped to cultivate purity, honesty and other virtues.

A Latin American bishop spoke with excitement about the forthcoming World Youth Day in Panama and the many fruits that can be anticipated for that region.

I missed the rest of the session as I was elected to a drafting group that had to begin its work… It’s go, go, go at Synod 2018.