ROME, MARCH 31, 2010 (Zenit.org).- It is harder than ever for young people to learn the faith, because the culture keeps them from maturing and developing their freedom, according to the Italian bishops.
This was one observation made by the prelates in their four-day permanent council meeting last week. Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa and president of the episcopal conference, led the meeting.
Given the difficulties in transmitting the faith, the bishops emphasized “the need for greater attention in presenting Catholic doctrine so as not to reduce Christian initiation to a generic experience,” according to Monsignor Domenico Pompili, conference spokesman. He said there is a growing awareness that the entire community needs to be catechized, and this conviction needs to continue to become stronger.
The prelates also spoke of the scandal of sexual abuse of minors by members of the Church. They highlighted three elements to confront and prevent this crime: transparency in seeking the truth, collaboration with authorities, and careful selection of candidates for the priesthood.
Regarding other issues, the bishops were sent the texts of the second part of the third Italian edition of the Roman Missal. They also approved the draft of the preparatory document of the next Social Week, which will be held Oct. 14-17 in Calabria.
They also discussed the presence of foreign priests in Italy.
Monsignor Pompili explained that some 5% of the clergy operating in Italy are foreign-born, including those in full-time pastoral service, chaplains for non-Italian speaking communities, and spiritual guides for students.
The prelates agreed to foster a close relationship with these priests’ home Churches, and assured their appreciation for the “presence of the foreign priest from the point of view of missionary cooperation between the Churches, fostering their insertion in diocesan pastoral activity and supporting their ministry.”