Fr. Rossano Sala: The Church Needs Young People in order to Regain a New, Youthful Dynamism”

04 Apr 2018

(ANS – Rome – April 3) – Just a few days after the closing of the pre-synodal meeting of young people, Fr. Rossano Sala, SDB, special secretary of the Synod of Bishops, once again examined the significance and value of this event.

What was the purpose of the pre-synodal meeting?

To contribute to the successful outcome of the synod. The young people were really enthusiastic and produced a document that was handed over to the Pope on Palm Sunday and that will end up in the hands of the synodal fathers.

Even the Pope was present at the meeting.

The moment with the Pope was very powerful. First of all, he let five young people present the reality of five [out of six] continents; then he made a program speech about the objectives of the synod, making it clear that young people are necessary for the Church to acquire a renewed, youthful dynamism. One cannot have a young Church—not only in terms of birth, but also in vigor and enthusiasm—without the young.

Then the so-called “linguistic circles” took place: 20 groups of about 15 youngsters each developed the issues that emerged in the pre-synodal guidelines—on the situation of young people today, the understanding of the key words of the synod, and the Church’s pastoral tools and actions. They worked on it for two days, before an editorial board put together a first draft of the final document, which then was re-discussed by the young and finally perfected with the new indications received. In short, a very interactive methodology was followed, which involved and excited young people and allowed them to give their best.

What is this document about?

In the first part, young people talk about how one’s personality and character are shaped today, about multicultural and multireligious current events, new technologies, their religiosity, etc.

In the second, they spoke of their relationship with Jesus and the Church, traced their vision of vocations, described the characteristics of an adult able to accompany the young, etc.

Finally, in the third, they worked on the styles that, in their opinion, the Church ought to have toward the world and the young. Here a few things were quite striking: for example, in terms of morality, rather than being against certain positions of the Church, young people ask that the Church explain them more explicitly.

Three words to define these days?

Communion, joy, and hope.

The complete interview with Fr. Sala is available in Italian on the ANS YouTube channel