The “Instrumentum Laboris”, the working document for October’s Synod on Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment, was presented this week at a press conference in Rome, by Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops.
The document has been informed directly by the views and experiences of young people, through initiatives like the mega youth poll which produced over 100,000 responses, and the Pre-Synodal Meeting in March, which was attended by around 300 young people with a further 15,000 engaging online.
It acknowledges that looking after the young “is not an optional work for the church, but a substantial part of its vocation and its mission in history.”
The document is in three parts: Recognising: the Church listening to reality deals with the need to listen to young people from a position of awareness of the realities they face in contemporary society; Interpreting: faith and vocational discernment covers the discernment process in the light of theology and how the Church improve its accompaniment of the young; Choosing: paths of pastoral and missionary conversion, is named from a phrase in Evangelii Gaudium, and includes “the need for the Church to confront the daily life of young people and to be present and operative where they live out their concrete existence.”
The instrument notes the participation of non-Catholics and young LGBT people in contributing to the consultations that shaped the document. At the press conference, Cardinal Baldisseri said “the primary goal of the upcoming Synod is to “make the entire church aware of its important mission to accompany every young person, none excluded.”
The National Catholic Reporter states “Bishop Fabio Fabene, the undersecretary of the synod office, said at the press conference that the October gathering would include a “considerable number” of young people. Fabene said his office is also developing a plan for the prelates to communicate directly with young people during the Synod through social media.”