The Synod advances little by little. We have finished the work of the first part, devoted to RECOGNIZE reality. We have heard 80 interventions of so many Synod Fathers and the contributions of several young people present in the room and those of some invited experts. We have spent twelve hours to work in “smaller circles” (linguistic groups) on the Instrumentum Laboris and a whole morning to share reports of the fourteen groups.
The reflection is being very rich and participated. It is impossible to collect all the ideas on a sheet of paper, but I share some of the most repeated and shared findings: the importance of taking into account the diversity of youth and social and ecclesial contexts in which they live; the challenge of empathetic listening; the construction of an ecclesial culture of listening; the challenge of intergenerational dialogue; to assume that young people are not the future but the present; the digital continent; the challenges of affectivity and experience of sexuality; the systematic and determined fight against abuses of all kinds; the attention to the young migrants; the ecclesial solidarity with the communities with more needs and fewer resources, etc.
Options that can open new tracks appear: establishing in the Church an organized ‘conversation with the young’ dynamics; entering thoroughly the challenges specific to the transmission of the faith, which is not well resolved in the Church; delving into the subject of accompaniment and vocational discernment; fighting strongly to eradicate any form of clericalism in the seminaries and houses of formation, etc.
The icon of the walkers of Emmaus emerges with strength, a beautiful example of listening to Jesus, provocative of new searches. And two images of the Church which we should develop are outlined: the Church as a family, in which all are important, and the Church as school of discipleship. The two images have a broad development.
We are starting the second part of the work: to INTERPRETE. The goal is to discern the reality, in order to go slowly reaching proposals and options.
But the Synod is not only the official works, but the relationships we establish and everything what is shared in the corridor. It is very rich to listen to an African Bishop tell you how it works to rescue young people torn apart by their years as child soldiers or to see the interest that the bishops in whose dioceses we are or we could be, have for the things of the Order. Every day, many conversations and experiences.
In addition, in our House of San Pantaleo is hosted one of the experts, Salvatore Curro, and this also facilitates the General House to be “on foot of Synod”. We have already had an encounter in San Pantaleo with Cardinal Omella, Archbishop of Barcelona, and we wait at the end of the week the cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila.
A final detail: what impact all of us and makes us happy is to see the Pope as one more, conversing with one and other normally. Today I have handed him over the report of the Piarist Synod of Youth and I have explained the process that we have followed. It is a deep joy to know that the Pope knows and blesses what we do.