The “synodal path” started immediately for the writing of the “preparatory document,” published on January 13, 2017, together with Pope Francis’ “Letter to the young people.”
This document contained a “Questionnaire” intended mainly for episcopal conferences, synods of Eastern Catholic Churches, and other organizations of the Church: 15 questions addressed to all, three specific questions for each continent, and a call to share experienced “good practices.”
Cardinal Baldisseri then mentions the “International Seminar on the situation of young people” which took place from Sept. 11-15, 2017, with the participation of experts and young people, to take account of the situation of young people today.”
There were also initiatives to “involve young people,” beginning with an “Online Questionnaire” in different languages and also translated by episcopal conferences: some 100,000 young people sent their responses.
There was also the “Pre-synodal Meeting” of young people, in Rome, from March 19-24, 2018, where 300 young people from five continents were physically present, while 15,000 other young people participated in the meeting thanks to social networks. It ended on Palm Sunday, World Youth Day 2018, with the final document prepared by the young people being delivered to Pope Francis.
This initiative, Cardinal Baldisseri noted, demonstrates “the expression of the desire of the Church to listen to all young people without exclusion”.
“The material collected by these four main sources – in addition to the “0bservations “of the Secretariat of the Synod- is certainly very vast. It has been thoroughly analyzed by experts, carefully synthesized, and collected in “The Instrument of Work” approved by the XIV Extraordinary Council of the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, in the presence of the Holy Father, ” he said.
Cardinal Baldisseri specified that the text takes up the themes in a “functional” way for the unfolding of the synod: “Recognize” (five chapters), “Interpret” (four chapters for four “reading keys”), “Choose” (four chapters, “to help the Synod Fathers to take a stand on the directions and decisions to be taken”).
The document concludes with “significant attention” to the theme of “holiness” so that the synod will recognize “the most beautiful face of the Church”, as Pope Francis put it in Gaudete et Exsultate” (n.9) and that he knows how to propose it today “to all young people.”
Instrumentum Laboris (in original Italian): http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/synod/documents/rc_synod_doc_20180508_instrumentum-xvassemblea-giovani_it.html
Here is our translation of the main titles of the document:
I.Recognize: the Church listens to reality
Ch.1 Being young today
Ch.2 Experiences and languages
Ch.3 In waste culture
Ch.4 Anthropological and cultural challenges
Ch.5 Listening to young people
II.Interpreting faith and discernment of vocations
Ch.1 The blessing of youth
Ch.2 The call to the light of faith
Ch.3 The dynamism of vocational discernment
Ch. 4 The Art of Accompanying
III. Choose: pastoral and missionary conversion paths
Ch.1 An integral perspective
Ch.2 Immersed in the fabric of everyday life
Ch.3 An evangelized and evangelizing community
Ch. 4 Animation and organization of the pastoral