I have just gotten married recently. We had a great marriage prep course beforehand. But now we ask what do we have available to help us?
This observation was made by Yadira Vieyra, an auditor from Chicago, Illinois, during a briefing in the Holy See Press Office, where the Vatican’s Prefect for the Dicastery for Communication, Paolo Ruffini, today, Oct. 19, 2018, at 1:30, briefed journalists on the themes touched on during this morning’s congregation of the Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment, Oct. 3-28, 2018.
Speaking along with the prefect and the auditor were the Holy See Press Office’s Director, Greg Burke; Bishop Joseph Naffah of Lebanon;Bishop Emmanuel Kofi Fianu of Ghana; and Father Valdir José De Castro, Superior General of the Paulinos.
Vieyra, who helps migrant families and is a daughter of immigrants herself, expressed: “you cannot minister to the young, without ministering to the family.” She underscored the importance of the Church accompanying couples after marriage.
She also stressed her experience with the suffering of those who have migrated and suffer depression, anxiety, from their experiences. She also underscored the importance of understanding what is causing these people to flee from their lands, what are the problems behind this exodus.
Lebanese Bishop Joseph Naffah reflected on the synod, acknowledging how some of his young people actively witness Christ in the Middle East, “even to the point of martyrdom.”
He observed that the digital dimension is important in order to communicate with young people. “Thanks to the web I am able to connect with many young people from the Middle East,” he said, noting how helpful this is since many have left their homeland. “We’ve also had young people’s conversions, who recognized Jesus through our social presence.”
“There are sites,” the Lebanese Maronite prelate also warned, “which appear “Catholic,” but are actually against the Church and attack it. It is necessary to put the faithful on watch.”
Importance of Sacred Scripture; Access online, But Remaining Catholic, Not Vulnerable to Misuse
Bishop Fianu of Ghana also touched on this theme: “For me, in Ghana it’s helpful to use digital platforms to share biblical reflections. Young People are asking the Church to be able to understand the Gospel and the web helps us to do this.”
The African bishop expressed that at the Synod, he suggested digitizing their apostolates. He emphasized the importance of young Catholics getting more acquainted with Sacred Scripture, and this would be most effective if they can identify a way they find attractive, and explained that for platforms to remain properly ‘Catholic,’ there would be an application process and criteria for selecting sound administrators to manage them in the proper way.
Superior General Father José de Castro also underscored the need that the Catholic sites and platforms be managed to prevent vulnerabilities to inappropriate manipulation. He called for the Church to not be afraid of a digital environment, if She wishes to speak to young people. “We have to discern our presence on social media,” he said.