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The Church and the world need you synod tells young people

VATICAN (CNS): At the end of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment, the synod fathers writing to the world’s young people, said, “Our frailties and sins must not be an obstacle for your trust. The Church is your mother; she does not abandon you; she is ready to accompany you on new roads, on higher paths where the winds of the Spirit blow stronger—sweeping away the mists of indifference, superficiality and discouragement.”
 
Lorenzo Cardinal Baldisseri, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops, read the letter aloud after the October 28 closing Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, in the presence of Pope Francis and young people. 
 
He said the synod members wanted to offer words “of hope, trust and consolation.”
 
Members of the synod, after discussions at the Vatican from October 3 to 27, told young people that they recognised in the voice of Jesus “your many voices, your shouts of exultation, your cries and your moments of silence.”
 
The letter said, “We wish to be sharers in your joy, so that your expectations may come to life. We are certain that with your enthusiasm for life, you will be ready to get involved so that your dreams may be realised and take shape in your history.”
 
When the world that God so loved “is focused on material things, on short-term successes, on pleasures, and when the world crushes the weakest, you must help it to rise up again and to turn its gaze toward love, beauty, truth and justice once more,” the synod fathers told young people.
 
“We wish to continue the journey now in every part of the earth where the Lord Jesus sends us as missionary disciples,” they said.
 
“The Church and the world urgently need your enthusiasm,” the letter said. “Be sure to make the most fragile people, the poor and those wounded by life your travelling companions. You are the present; be a brighter future.”
 
The special letter was drafted by a international commission that included four bishops, two young women, the leader of the Taizé community and an Italian priest, all of whom took part in the synod.
 
Speaking on behalf of all adult Catholics, Pope Francis formally closed the Synod of Bishops by asking young people for forgiveness.
 
“Forgive us if often we have not listened to you; if, instead of opening our hearts, we have filled your ears. As Christ’s Church, we want to listen to you with love” because young people’s lives are precious in God’s eyes and “in our eyes, too,” the pope said in his homily.
 
The pope thanked the 300 synod members, experts, observers and ecumenical delegates for working in communion, with frankness and with the desire to serve God’s people.
 
Living the faith and sharing it with the world, especially with young people, entails going out to those in need, listening, being close to them and bearing witness to Jesus’ liberating message of salvation, Pope Francis said.
 
“May the Lord bless our steps, so that we can listen to young people, be their neighbours and bear witness before them to Jesus, the joy of our lives,” he said.

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