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2018, Nov 09

The Holy Father, Pope Francis has called on the youths of the present generation to forgive the older generation for not listening to them as the two generations walk along the journey of faith together. The Holy Father made the appeal in his homily at the closing Mass for the  recently concluded Special Synod of Bishops on the young people held at St Peter’s Basilica, at the Vatican City, Rome.

His words: “In the name of all of us adults; forgive us if often we have not listened to you, if, instead of opening our hearts, we have filled your ears.” He then assured: “As Christ’s Church, we want to listen to you with love, certain of  two things: that your lives are precious in God’s eyes, because God is young and loves young people, and that your lives are precious in our eyes too, and indeed necessary for moving forward.”

The Catholic Pontiff who premised his homily on the Journey of Faith named three fundamental steps paramount for this journey. The steps, according to him are: “to listen; to be a neighbour and to bear witness”.

Using the Gospel reading of the day to buttress his point, the pope stated that the first step in helping the journey of faith is “listening”; adding: “It is the apostolate of the ear; listening before speaking. On the second factor which the Holy Father described as being a neighbour; the Pope Francis declared: “being a neighbour means bringing the newness of God into the lives of our brothers and sisters”; serving as an antidote to the temptation of easy answers and fast fixes.

He added that it means “not to wash our hands” but “to imitate Jesus  and like him, to dirty our hands”. On the third aspect of bearing witness, the Holy Father reminded the Bishops and the youths that this entails taking the good news to the people, rather than waiting for them to come. His words: “It is not Christian to expect that our brothers and sisters who are seekers should have to knock on our doors; we ought to go out to them, bringing not ourselves but Jesus.” Pope Francis concluded by condemning the continuous accusations to smear the Church.

The synod was attended by about 260 Synod Fathers from more than 130 countries of the world and 36 young people from the different continent that actively participated at the synod. The synod final document warns against |pre-packaged answers”, urges “accompaniment and endorses women in church leadership. At the end of the Mass, the Secretary General of the synod, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, read the message of the Synod Fathers to the young people of the world.


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