Saturday, 24 March 2018 00:00

Young people meet before the Synod: We want a more transparent and horizontal Church

ROME, Italy.
On the second day of the pre-synodal meeting, March 20, Clara Colmenero, TA Youth, Spain, shares her thoughts on the topics addressed.

Throughout the day, more than three hundred girls and boys gathered in groups to debate on two themes that could be stated as: "Young people and faith" and "Pastoral action of the Church."

Clara points out some significant aspects of the dialogue: It is very common to hear among us young people, "I believe in Jesus, but I do not believe in the Church." This is why we concluded that the gospel needs to be lived out day by day, especially to be able to understand it. We have also said that the world does not present the love of Jesus and that we are afraid to talk about Jesus, so that we do not look "politically correct."

When referring to vocation, we stressed that in the Church the lay vocation is not considered equal to the religious or priestly vocation; it is not really valued. And people are not prepared for marriage.

About accompaniment

We highlighted the importance of being accompanied, coached. Above all, it is important to feel the accompaniment after the Sacraments, for example after first Communion. And in particular during our time at the University.

We need committed people to accompany us. And we need a community that is able to accompany us. We need to avoid what happens in many parishes, where a priest carries out everything and when he is transferred, nothing lasts.

We consider that a companion must be a balanced person and mentally stable, well rooted. That this person may not tell us what we have to do ... but help us question ourselves.

We want a horizontal and transparent Church

Sometimes young people's commitment is not seen. We are not taken seriously because some people believe that we will not commit ourselves. We seek motherhood and fatherhood in the Church, which welcomes us as our fathers and mothers, without judging us.

The role of the laity, particularly of lay women, was highlighted. We feel that we are not seen as having a true vocation and we need to be taken into account. We want a Church that is horizontal and transparent, not hierarchical.

We want a church that is not boring and for this it is necessary to change the way of transmitting the gospel. We need the gospel to help us in our daily life.

The Church we dream of is born from within. Young people need more prominence, that we be taken seriously and that we have more commitment, that priests trust us.

It was stressed that there is no envy or competition among the Church Movements and we need to show ourselves as a united Church. We want a Church that does not judge and that does not put us into categories. Let's get closer to the people.

We need to leap into the action

The Pope has exhorted us to participate, not to remain on the surface. Regarding politics, a girl from Guatemala shared that in her country, before an election campaign, sectors of the Church guided them not to vote, because among the candidates there were corrupt politicians. The winner of the election showed a picture of a bishop voting. This generated confusion. We need coherence.

In the world, in general, new leaders are needed, able to set an example, to be good people. Young people have to take a leap into action and not remain silent.

A boy proposed that the Church should teach us to act politically. However, my thought is that what they have to teach us are values ​​and the ability to act in society as citizens. In Spain, at least, when sectors of the Church have been involved in politics, they have done a lot of damage. That generates rejection in many people and this involves all Christians. I think it would be better to participate in social actions, that the Church does not exclude itself from the social area, that it be integrated, that we may be seen participating (for example in marches such as those organized on March 8), that we dialogue with the community.

It was said that we should stop hiding, since publicity against the Church is usually negative (cases of pedophilia, etc.). I said that there are many positive experiences, and that we should not have a false humility and give testimony that what we do, we do because we follow Jesus, and that makes us happy.

I believe that a Christian does not have to present oneself as, "Hi, I am a Christian," but "I am a person" and when people see that we do not judge, then we present ourselves as Christians.

Thanks Clara for sharing your thoughts and impressions.

More information may be found at  Synod2018

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