Interview with Fr. Rossano Sala on the apostolic exhortation Christus vivit

04 Apr 2019

We must be a community that discerns and accompanies”

Interview with Fr. Rossano Sala on the apostolic exhortation Christus vivit

(ANS – Rome – April 2) – The apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis Christus vivit (“Christ is alive”) was presented on April 2 in the John Paul II Hall of the Holy See Press Office. The exhortation, which the Holy Father signed on March 25 on the occasion of his visit to Loreto, is the fruit of the Synod of Bishops last October on the theme “Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment.” In fact, as per the synodal path, the pontifical document is in the form of a “Letter to the young.” Fr. Rossano Sala, who was special secretary of the Synod, spoke in an ANS interview about Christus vivit.

Starting from the title of the exhortation, Christus vivit, how do you think Christ actually lives today among today’s young people?

In the fifth chapter, Pope Francis asks himself: how is God present in history? The answer is: through young people. Through a young man who really has really met Him and brings Him into the world, takes Him to school, university, politics, social work, in serving children, in a thousand ways. Thus I would say: the presence of Christ in history passes right through the lives of young people. This is the Pope’s wish.

What would Don Bosco think in reading this apostolic exhortation?

It must be said that Don Bosco is present in the exhortation. Pope Francis, naming a series of saints, in fact refers to Dominic Savio and his teacher Don Bosco [in n. 56; and to Ceferino Namuncurá in n. 58].

Furthermore, there is a part in which the Holy Father asks the Church to return to crying when it sees the miseries of today’s youths in a globalized world, in a world dominated by the culture of waste, the culture of abuse. At one point he says: “We must ask for the gift of tears.” Don Bosco immediately comes to my mind. What did Don Bosco do the first time he left a Turin prison? He came out with tears in his eyes. Therefore Don Bosco shares the passion of Pope Francis, who, after all, was baptized by a Salesian! He, too, has in Don Bosco’s DNA.

These viscera of mercy are moved by seeing the hardships, the marginalization, the unease of so many young people in the world.

How do you think the apostolic exhortation will be received by the worldwide Salesian Family?

First of all, I’d like to reiterate that if in this exhortation ready-made answers are sought, one will be disappointed. On the contrary, strong is the invitation to work together. We must be a community that discerns, accompanies, and is ready to move.

The interview with Fr. Rossano Sala is available on ANSChannel.


Text of Christus vivit:


News report and commentary on the exhortation: