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2018 Synod: Deepen Dialogue Between Generations

October 05, 2018. Reflections of a Young Italian Auditor

“We are on the way, we are searching, and I think that the relationship between the generations is essential to deepen this dialogue in which everyone has something to give to others,” said Gioele Ferruccio Anni, one of 34 young auditors present at the Synod of Bishops, and National Councillor of the Youth Section of Italian Catholic Action, who spoke to Vatican News during a pause of the 2nd General Congregation of the Synod of Bishops, on October 2, 2018.

“In this Synod, we expect the Church to look at us, young people, not in a sociological way, but from our true reality,” explained Anni. In his homily and opening address, “Pope Francis gave us many ideas, but I was struck by this phrase: the Church is in a deficit of listening to young people. I think that it’s true; I think that many young people don’t feel heard.”

The young Italian auditor also stressed Pope Francis’ special “attitude,” and his “strong positivity.” “Pope Francis isn’t afraid of youth and of today’s cultural changes,” said Anni. “He knows, and we also said it during the pre-Synodal meeting, that today young people are a privileged part of the People of God to intercept these cultural changes, the challenges of the present. So we hope that his attitude will infect all the Synodal Fathers,” he added.

“Today, adults and young people can be tempted to be afraid: fear of the outside world, fear of change and mutual fear . . . I think we can establish a relationship on dreams, on hope . . . which spurs us to be confident and to build together,” explained the young Italian.

“We, young people, ask the adults not to judge our weaknesses and we ask adults to show themselves also in their weaknesses. To be part of the great family of the Church is also to be able to put in common the difficulties and the weaknesses,” he added.

The young Italian auditor also said that young people want to bring to the Synod “a real and fruitful co-responsibility between the laity and Pastors, which begins in the parishes, continues in the dioceses and in life’s milieux.

“So, as some of the Synodal Fathers said today, young people aren’t objects of the Church’s attention, but we are subjects, we are the Church,” he affirmed.