2018: Another Synod – Red Alert!editor
Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis to Young People
on the Occasion of the Presentation of the Preparatory Document
of the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.
My Dear Young People,
I am pleased to announce that in October 2018 a Synod of Bishops will take place to treat the topic: “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.” I wanted you to be the centre of attention, because you are in my heart. Today, the Preparatory Document is being presented, a document which I am also entrusting to you as your “compass” on this synodal journey.
I am reminded of the words which God spoke to Abraham: “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” (Gen 12.1). These words are now also addressed to you. They are words of a Father who invites you to “go”, to set out towards a future which is unknown but one which will surely lead to fulfilment, a future towards which He Himself accompanies you. I invite you to hear God’s voice resounding in your heart through the breath of the Holy Spirit.
When God said to Abram, “Go!”, what did he want to say? He certainly did not say to distance himself from his family or withdraw from the world. Abram received a compelling invitation, a challenge, to leave everything and go to a new land. What is this “new land” for us today, if not a more just and friendly society which you, young people, deeply desire and wish to build to the very ends of the earth?
But unfortunately, today, “Go!” also has a different meaning, namely, that of abuse of power, injustice and war. Many among you are subjected to the real threat of violence and forced to flee their native land. Their cry goes up to God, like that of Israel, when the people were enslaved and oppressed by Pharaoh (cf. Ex 2:23).
I would also remind you of the words that Jesus once said to the disciples who asked him: “Teacher […] where are you staying?” He replied, “Come and see” (Jn 1:38). Jesus looks at you and invites you to go with him. Dear young people, have you noticed this look towards you? Have you heard this voice? Have you felt this urge to undertake this journey? I am sure that, despite the noise and confusion seemingly prevalent in the world, this call continues to resonate in the depths of your heart so as to open it to joy in its fullness. This will be possible to the extent that, even with professional guides, you will learn how to undertake a journey of discernment to discover God’s plan in your life. Even when the journey is uncertain and you fall, God, rich in mercy, will extend his hand to pick you up.
In Krakow, at the opening of the last World Youth Day, I asked you several times: “Can we change things?” And you shouted: “yes!”. That shout came from your young and youthful hearts, which do not tolerate injustice and cannot bow to a “throw-away culture” nor give in to the globalization of indifference. Listen to the cry arising from your inner selves! Even when you feel, like the prophet Jeremiah, the inexperience of youth, God encourages you to go where He sends you: “Do not be afraid, […], because I am with you to deliver you” (Jer 1:8).
A better world can be built also as a result of your efforts, your desire to change and your generosity. Do not be afraid to listen to the Spirit who proposes bold choices; do not delay when your conscience asks you to take risks in following the Master. The Church also wishes to listen to your voice, your sensitivities and your faith; even your doubts and your criticism. Make your voice heard, let it resonate in communities and let it be heard by your shepherds of souls. St. Benedict urged the abbots to consult, even the young, before any important decision, because “the Lord often reveals to the younger what is best.” (Rule of St. Benedict, III, 3).
Such is the case, even in the journey of this Synod. My brother bishops and I want even more to “work with you for your joy” (2 Cor 1:24). I entrust you to Mary of Nazareth, a young person like yourselves, whom God beheld lovingly, so she might take your hand and guide you to the joy of fully and generously responding to God’s call with the words: “Here I am” (cf. Lk 1:38).
With paternal affection,
Given at the Vatican, 13 January 2017 Source
Over at Rorate Caeli they’re running a poll which we’ve copied here (hoping they don’t sue!) Vote here, and there and then share your thoughts… Politely!
“Red” Alert – as in Communist? All I can say is “Uh-Oh.”
I notice there is only one mention of the Church, and that, a “listening” Church. Not a teaching Church, not a Sacramental Church, not the Ark of Salvation, not Holy Mother Church, not the Mystical Body of Christ – just the usual Modernist/sacrilegious/Conciliar version of the Church, which has somehow not learned enough about young people in the last 1,950 years and so must surrender to worldly “wisdom” in order to legitimize herself.
As for the quote from the Rule of St. Benedict, I smelled the usual rat, so I looked up III, 3:
“As often as any special business has to be transacted in the monastery, let the abbot convoke the whole community and himself state what is  the matter in hand. And having listened to the counsel of the brethren, let him settle the matter in his own mind and do what seems to him most expedient. And we have thus said that all are to be called to council because it is often to a junior that the Lord reveals what is best. But let the brethren so give counsel with all subjection and humility that they presume not with any forwardness to defend what shall have seemed good to them; but rather let the decision depend upon the abbot’s discretion, so that he shall decide what is best, that they all may yield ready obedience: but just as it behoves the disciples to be obedient to the master, so also it becomes him to arrange all things prudently and justly.”
(I presume this means junior in rank, not necessarily in age).
And finally, this letter starts by mentioning a “Preparatory Document.” Is this said document, or is there a separate one?
I’m glad you checked out the Rule for that St Benedict quote because I knew it had to be about internal monastery business NOT doctrine. To use a quote like that out of context is utterly dishonest and brings the Pope into further disrepute, if that were possible. The numpties are countless (as well as brainless) who will quote that all over the world as if it were dogma, giving them an excuse to encourage the young to challenge Christ’s teaching – you know the teaching they’ve never properly been taught in the first place.
Everyone with whom I speak – day in and day out – is saying the same thing, independently of each other. Something, they say, is in the air. Things cannot go on like this for much longer. God will surely act in this centenary year of the Fatima apparitions. I think so too.
Considering what the Church has done over the past fifty years these words are empty and meaningless to young people. Just look at Amores Laetitia, although there was an interesting part on young people and the psychological damage that divorce was doing to them, this was obviously something discussed at the Synod of the Family and was included by the Pope although he made no comment on what was said.
Nor did the bishops and in every article for or against, the young people were excluded. I cannot cover the world but certainly my limited reading they were very unimportant. We had bishops and priests filled with enthusiasm at giving divorced people a second chance by fake annulments. And the whole mockery of Amrois Laetitia was that we had a false argument in so far as the Divorced and Remarried were going to Communion anyway, having been told by the clergy to follow their consciences and ignore the teachings of Christ.
But there were good Catholics I might say who held on to Christ. Christ is loving and good and kind and will understand and never mind that Christ in Scripture. So as the West through marriage aside and more and more children were hurt, yes hurt, suffering, feeling unwanted and unloved, well perhaps you did not notice, Bishop, but that was why Christ was against divorce, it had evil consequences.
We now have a country where a growing number of young people are committing suicide, taking drugs and killing themselves, led easily into prostitution and fornication as a way of life. They have no hope of marriage and happiness and all because Bishops and priests are now ‘mature’ in their approach to pastoral care. They certainly will not stand shoulder to shoulder with the Jesus of the Gospels, for what they are actually doing in their ‘pastoral’ work is calling Christ a liar.
God made them male and female so that they would experience not just sex but love. And through that love their children would themselves experience love, that is why divorce is so wrong, although I know there are cases where to continue the marriage is impossible nevertheless on parting the spouses must still live the covenant they made with God for the sake of their children and indeed every child. They have a real vocation in the Church. Swapping partners destroys children. There may be bishops and priests who read this and sort of dismiss it and excuse themselves. But they are making Christ a liar, and offering the excuse of Moses who allowed marriage and divorce because of the hardness of people’s hearts.
A great post, John Kearney.
“we had a false argument in so far as the Divorced and Remarried were going to Communion anyway, having been told by the clergy to follow their consciences and ignore the teachings of Christ”
That’s like the Chief of Police saying that people rob and burglarise anyway, so why bother about having a law forbidding it, LOL!
Well said. I was very interested in your comments about those Catholics who remain faithful to the Church’s teaching despite marriage problems. During the discussions on the divorced and remarried receiving Communion, I keep thinking of two readers (who allowed me to publish their story, some years ago now) – they had been cohabiting and had children, but decided to live as brother and sister, albeit within the home where they lived with their offspring – older children to whom they explained their decision.
When the lady went to Confession the priest (who subsequently abandoned his ministry) told her not to bother changing their “lifestyle” just to come to Communion anyway. She was horrified and told him so.
Not that long after they had both been to Confession and changed their domestic arrangements, they were both taken ill in different ways; a stroke and heart attack respectively.
I know for a fact that they are very relieved to have followed Christ and not Pope Francis.
Just what we need – another synod!
I don’t think the Rorate poll does the Francis justice, though – I don’t think he’s angling for married priests or women deacons, more like he wants young people to be advising on the marriage courses that will spring out of Amoris Laetita, along the lines of making sure the next generation think it’s OK to use contraception (not breed like rabbits) and divorce and remarry but still receive Communion. I think that’s more likely to be the aim of this latest synod.
“Just what we need – another synod!”
I’ve just been reading this article about a questionnaire just released for bishops in preparation for the youth synod
The first question is this one – “In what manner does the Church listen to the lived situations of young people?”
I think “lived situations” is another way of saying “live according to your conscience” – i.e. your desires. Maybe I’m just a cynic, but that was my first thought.
“Lived situations” – you are correct in your analysis: it is nothing more than a euphemism for “Well, young people don’t live according to the Church’s teaching (let’s ignore those brought up in the traditional Faith who do, by the way) so let’s change things to suit them, as we’ve done for the divorced, remarried, cohabitees and those in same-sex relationships.
You’d have to be blind as a bat not to see what they’re up to a mile away.
I’m confused: that link does not lead to a new questionnaire for the upcoming Synod. It only contains a link to the questionnaire that was circulated in advance of the “Synod Against the Family.”
Any idea where this “document” announcing the Synod is, and where the new questionnaire is? The letter is neither.
I think (presumed) the Pope’s letter above (see the blog introduction) is the “document” announcing the 2018 synod, as it begins with the words: “I am pleased to announce that in October 2018 a Synod of Bishops will take place to treat the topic: “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.”
I did look for a link to the actual questionnaire but there isn’t one in Josephine’s article, as far as I can see.
I haven’t read this article in The Tablet, but post it here as it may give the required original documents. In haste…
The Tablet article says the questionnaire won’t be launched until May and it will be online.
It also says this:
“The theme of the document is a move away from Church leadership telling young people where they are going wrong and instead meeting them “where they are”; bishops and youth ministers must look “beyond a preconceived framework” of “ready-made answers” and seek to accompany young people living in the fluid and uncertain reality of today’s world, the document says.
Rigid attitudes need to be abandoned while the Church should try to learn from young people and the world they inhabit, the text adds.”
So, it is more of the idea that the Church’s teaching can change. No “ready made answers” and no “telling young people where they are going wrong”.
It’s really tragic, because intelligent young people want to know where they are going wrong and to be given the right answers, that come from God. How shocking that a pope is doing all of this. I am stunned.
I looked at that NCR article and saw this from the pope
“The Church … wishes to listen to your voice, your sensitivities and your faith; even your doubts and your criticism,” the pontiff told youths. “Make your voice heard, let it resonate in communities and let it be heard by your shepherds of souls.”
So, the kids are going to get more of what they get in school, tell us your questions, doubts etc. but don’t expect any answers. Totally disgraceful, it is, IMHO.
As RCA Victor says above, let’s have less of the “listening” Church and a bit more of the teaching etc. Church. Roll on.
Good point about the pupils in school getting nothing new in all of this – the Synod discussions will reflect the mindlessness of RE staff in-service days and the losers will be, as ever, the ignorant pupils, destined to be left in their ignorance.
The tragic irony is that when young people hear the real thing, they love it. They LOVE the Faith, when it is clearly explained to them in its purity. The mush coming from contemporary popes (especially this one), priests and teachers is the stuff of ridicule.
I note the “questionairre” at the link you provided is based on Guadium et Spes, one of the most liberal and dubious documents of Vatican II. Typical that Pope Francis and his liberal hierarchy should use that particular document as a basis for yet more Modernist pap about “young people”.
The Pope’s own address to young Catholics could have been written by any old Protestant or pagan, void, as it is, of any real supernatural love of the soul. Here’s the extract from the Pope’s speech that tells us again that he speaks as both a Modernist and a man fixated on an elusive paradise in this world:
“In Krakow, at the opening of the last World Youth Day, I asked you several times: “Can we change things?” And you shouted: “yes!”. That shout came from your young and youthful hearts, which do not tolerate injustice and cannot bow to a “throw-away culture” nor give in to the globalization of indifference. Listen to the cry arising from your inner selves!”
So there it is: The Church and Catholicism exist primarily to make the world a more just, tolerant and less globalised place! How different this Pope’s teaching is in comparison with the teaching of the Popes up to that ill-fated Council. Not a word about sanctifying the soul by keeping the Commandments, going to Mass, saying the rosary, doing one’s duty in accorsdance with state in life, etc., all the things that get us to heaven. No, it’s all about social justice and the fight against globalised indifferentism. Empty rhetoric that no one can even make any real sense from. These Modernist Popes sure know how to speak in riddles, masters of the maybe yes maybe no instead of the yes for yes and no for no that Our Lord demanded.
Is it any wonder that a majority of young Catholics don’t practice today and that most of them think the Church a laughing stock? There’s nothing worse than old foggie prelates trying to be hip with the youth, it’s so phoney.
Bit like Obama…Yes we CAN!
Absolutely! Same liberal M.O.
Obama’s outgoing phrase was “Yes we did”!……he certainly did.
I just thought – paraphrasing Pope Francis – that with good hope Our Lord might soon ask him to “Go” before he does any more damage to the Church with these suspiciously seditious synods.
“So there it is: The Church and Catholicism exist primarily to make the world a more just, tolerant and less globalised place! How different this Pope’s teaching is in comparison with the teaching of the Popes up to that ill-fated Council.
You’ve said it all there, Athanasius. And – to answer your closing question – no, it’s no wonder that a majority of young Catholics don’t practise the Faith today. No wonder at all. It’s only a wonder they don’t refuse to darken any parish church doorstep even for funerals and weddings. I doubt if that day is far off.
Having just finished the chapter in the 2nd Edition of The Great Facade called, appropriately enough, “The Great Facade,” it struck me that the language of this letter is quite similar to the embarrassing, rhapsodic Papal utterances and exhortations given at the infamous World Youth Days, which this chapter eviscerates with Ferrara and Woods’ usual precision. The whole tone of this letter smacks of the Modernist search for the earthly “civilization of peace and love” which has replaced the path of salvation of souls, and which is actually the ambiguous basis for ecumenism, “unity in diversity,” and other utterly meaningless utopian terms. In fact, with a few minor changes in terminology, this same letter could be used to inspire the “Occupy Wall St.” crowd!
I’d have to say I don’t see anything in this letter that indicates, in-between the lines, married priests and female deacons , but I did notice something rather chilling, namely, this quote:
“When God said to Abram, “Go!”, what did he want to say? He certainly did not say to distance himself from his family or withdraw from the world.”
Contrast this with the very words of Our Lord, Luke 18, 29-30: “Who said to them: Amen, I say to you, there is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’ s sake,  Who shall not receive much more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.”
Further evidence that this Pope, whether he knows it or not, is an agent of darkness…
He certainly did not mean you to leave your families ….
The ending of clerical celibacy, here we come.
This Pope, this determined revolutionary follower of Cardinal Martini hates the Church of 2,000 years; he is insensible to anything except the spirit of Vatican II, which is the destruction of whatever is left of holiness.
Another synod – groan!
I thought the pope had already ruled out ending celibacy and women’s ordination but who knows.
I think this will be another battleground to show up the divisions caused by this pope. These events for youth are like sticking plasters giving the pretence of an active young laity but I don’t think so. Kids will go wherever they think here will be fun and that’s about all I could see at the World Youth Days. A lot of fun, but nothing of any religious substance.
God help us all!
I’ve just re-read this silly letter more slowly, looking for clues as to what this utterly devious Pope’s intentions might be. Nothing caught my eye until the very end, where he closes with “Mary of Nazareth”
First of all, who ever heard of Our Lady being referred to as “Mary of Nazareth”? Is it no longer blessed to be a virgin? No longer blessed to be the Mother of God? Too much of an ideal? Too Catholic? But how in line with the Vatican II suppression of the spiritual role of Mary Mediatrix of All Graces, now replaced by her secular citizenship.
Second, Mary did not say “Here I am.” That statement would have undermined her humility. She said “Be it done unto me according to thy Word.” What version of the Bible is Francis using, a Lutheran one put out by the wacko Swedish sect he recently embraced?
Given that he closes with this (wrong) quote from Mary, I’d have to say that this is an indicator that this Synod will result in another scandalous, dishonest document encouraging the ordination of female deacons, and that this effort will be coordinated with the “findings” of the commission to study female deacons: http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160802/world/pope-appoints-commission-to-study-history-of-female-deacons-move-seen.620810
And somehow or another, Our Lady will be used (abused) to support this scandal. Who knows, since Francis is on such a roll, maybe he will even promote the ordination of lesbian female deacons, and their “gifts”…after all, once you’ve descended into the depraved world of the “god of surprises,” anything is possible, esp. if it destroys the Church and pleases the world.
“…the spiritual role of Mary Mediatrix of All Graces, now replaced by her secular citizenship.”
I didn’t think of it like that – incredible stuff, really. So much for the famed Latin American devotion to Our Lady. Not to mention the supposed consecration of the Francis papacy to Our Lady of Fatima. Yeah right.
The supposed consecration of the Francis papacy to Our Lady of Fatima?…and today, courtesy of MJM and The Remnant (just look it up folks) we find that Paul Ehrlich, author of the Population Bomb is a guest speaker at a Vatican conference….reminds me a while back on a tv interview where a famous atheist had converted to Christianity and when he was asked why he became a Baptist and NOT a Catholic, he replied :- “because the Catholic Church is TOO SOFT ON ABORTION!”….HOW does this Pope expect the “Young” to NOT be on this Overpopulation, save the planet…not enough resources..too many eaters and oxygen breathers, carbon footprint caper ?
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