Final preparations are underway for the March 19-24, 2018, Pre-Synodal Meeting in Rome, organized by the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, in collaboration with the Dicastery for the Laity, Family, and Life.
The Pre-Synodal Meeting will be an important part of the consultation phase before the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme Young people, faith and vocation discernment, scheduled for October 2018.
During a March 15, 2018, press conference at the Press Office of the Holy See, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, reviewed the purposes of the Pre-Synodal Meeting:
- This is an event in which the young will be the actors and the protagonists. We will not only talk about “them”, but they will be telling themselves, with their language, their enthusiasm, and their sensitivity. The next Synod of Bishops wants to be, in fact, not only a Synod “on” young people and “for” young people, but also a Synod “of” young people and “with” young people.
- A keyword, repeatedly repeated by the Pope, is “listening”. In this Pre-Synodal Meeting we will listen to young people “live”, “live”, to try to better understand their situation: what they think about themselves and adults, how they live their faith and what difficulties they encounter to be Christians, how they plan their lives and what problems they find in discerning their vocation, as they see the Church today and how they would like it, etc.
- Among the young people to be listened to, there will be in particular those that come from situations of hardship and from the “existential outskirts”, young people who often do not have the opportunity to be heard to make their situation and their expectations known. Then there will be young non-Catholics, not Christians and non-believers because listening to young people will be realized as much as possible “at 360 degrees”.
- The Pre-Synodal Meeting will be an opportunity to put ourselves in step with the young: keeping in mind that the Synod is by definition a “journey made together”, we want to show what it means concretely to walk together with young people, to all young people excluding.
- Walking with young people also means identifying specific pastoral paths, which enable the Christian communities to consolidate their youth pastoral projects, adapting them to the needs of today’s young people.
- At the Pre-Synodal Meeting, together with the young people, some parents, educators, priests, pastoral workers and experts of the youth world will take part, to listen to those who live next to the young and have the “tools” to read from the inside and in depth. their situation.
- In this way we also want to propose a method of intergenerational exchange and collaboration, fostering dialogue between young people and adults, who often struggle to communicate with each other in everyday life.
- The Pre-Synodal Meeting intends to arouse participation dynamics based on the encounter between cultures, living conditions, faiths, and disciplines, developing a model that can be repeated in the different ecclesial realities.
- We will ask ourselves how to help young people to seek and find the meaning of their life, in the light of the specific vocational perspective that Pope Francis wanted to give to the Synod journey.
- Finally, the Pre-Synodal Meeting will come to elaborate a shared document, which will be delivered to the Pope on Sunday 25 March and, together with the other contributions received, will merge into the Instrumentum laboris, the document on which the Synodal Fathers will meet in October.
While the Pre-Synodal Meeting will have about 300 “in-person” participants, youth from around the world can participant via internet. More information is available on the meeting website.