Pope Francis announces Synod on young people


Young women workers doing vocational training/S. Moumtzis, USAID/Pixnio

ope Francis has announced that the next Synod of Bishops will be held in October 2018 on the theme “Young people, faith and vocational discernment,” the Vatican Press Office reports.

“The theme, an expression of the pastoral care of the Church for the young, is consistent with the results of the recent Synod assemblies on the family and with the content of the post-Synodal apostolic exhortationAmoris Laetitia,” the Vatican announcement continues.

“Its aim is to accompany the young on their existential journey to maturity so that, through a process of discernment, they discover their plan for life and realise it with joy, opening up to the encounter with God and with human beings, and actively participating in the edification of the Church and of society.”

Greg Burke, the director of the Vatican press office, told reporters in a short briefing Thursday that the discussions are expected to focus on more than the choice between religious and married life, the National Catholic Reporter notes.

This should not be taken to mean that the next Synod will discuss the question of whether married men could be ordained to celebrate the sacraments, as the English speaking world had assumed in recent months, Vatican Insider adds.

Commenting on Twitter, Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane, Australia, noted that “yet again @Pontifex has chosen a Synod theme which looks to the deeper question of the engagement of faith & culture central to Vatican II.”

In a Facebook post, Philip Callaghan, president of the English and Welsh Young Christian Workers movement, said that the Synod should also address work and unemployment issues.

“As Pope Francis has stated, one of the gravest evils facing our society is the unemployment of the young,” Callaghan said. “Work is of fundamental importance to the development of the human person and it is therefore critical that issues surrounding world of work are included in the wider discussions surrounding young people and their place in the Church.”