Pope Francis and the Synod Fathers made a “journey into the world of youth” on the fourth day of the Synod of Bishops, October 6, 2018: they spent two hours led by young people in Paul VI Hall at the Vatican.
“We are in the Synod, we participate in the work,” affirmed the young participants, who were about 7000. They expressed to the pope their questions, touching on life, political commitment, employment, individualism, loneliness, social networks, young people far from the Church … and handed over these questions that will serve the Synod Fathers for further work.
During this festive evening full of emotions, songs, choreography, and humor, the Pope encouraged them: “Make your way, be on the way, look at the horizon and not the mirror … do not sit on the couch as retirees at 24 “.
To find oneself, he added, we must act. And to invite the coherence of life, castigating an incoherent church “which reads the Beatitudes and falls into scandalous princely clericalism”.
The real power is the “service” is “to grow people,” also recalled the pope: “If you want to live as a Christian, live the beatitudes”, not worldliness or clericalism, ” the worst perversions in the Church “.
Do not be seduced by the “ideological colonization”, also urged the Pope inviting young people to repeat: “I have no price, I am free … like this freedom that gives you Jesus”. He was especially moved in front of the photo of a young man and his grandfather, the strongest message of the evening, he said, recommending that young people cultivate the bonds with the older ones who are the roots.
During the vigil, testimonies of young people followed one another: that of Daniel, a former prisoner who in contact with a community was able to resume studies and balance. “In faith as in life, you do not grow up alone,” he said.
Azeez, a young Iraqi refugee in France, studying in Lyon, confided the anguish, abandonment, and dereliction he felt in the conflict in his country, where he lost everything: “I was saved by Jesus … I forgave daesh, “he testified in English.
A young singer has expressed his faith in lasting love: “relationships grow like a plant”, and sometimes you have to “turn off the phone” and dedicate time to those you love, he recommended. A 33-year-old woman recounted her experience of dating site entertainment, the “emptiness” and the need for love she sought to fill until she met “a love that asks me nothing, that of God. “Today I am happy,” she said.
A young victim of harassment recounted his escape from drugs and alcohol. At 23, angry with the world and against God, he lives in the street, becomes “a human larva”, it was “hell”. Finally, he meets a priest who invites him to live in a community of young people, to choose “life”, and gets out of his dependencies.
Dario, fatherless at age 5, gave his testimony of addiction to pornography at the age of 10: “I did not know that porn destroys you deeply … you’re not free to look at others without them dirty … I was looking for a father, I was looking for God, but I did not know it. ” Today married, he expressed his hope and his willingness to show the beauty of life to young people who live the same dependence.
Other topics covered: the difficulties of the world of work; the religious vocation; humanitarian engagement with refugees; ecology: death and disease. And a young priest ordained a year ago, who humorously confided his passion for dance and made a few paces in front of the young people: “I am happy to be a priest, God does not take away anything, what you have he gives it back to you at 1000%, “he said.