2018: Another Synod – Red Alert!

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,
A group of folk dancers rehears prior to the arrival of Pope Francis at the military airport in Krakow, Poland, Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

World Youth Day: A group of folk dancers rehearse prior to the arrival of Pope Francis at the military airport in Krakow, Poland, Wednesday, July 27, 2016.

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,

FRANCIS

Given at the Vatican, 13 January 2017    Source

Comment: 

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!

 

 

 

Pope Francis: Dublin Next To Host World Meeting of Families – Joke, Right?

Pope-Francis-and-Archbishop-Diarmuid-MartinPope Francis has announced that the next World Meeting of Families will take place in 2018 in Dublin. 

He made the announcement at the concluding Mass of the World Meeting of Families which ended in Philadelphia this evening. It was the final stage of Pope Francis’ historic trip to United States. Tonight’s Mass in Philadelphia was attended by almost one million people. Before Mass, the Pope greeted Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin.

Held every three years and sponsored by the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Family, the World Meeting of Families is the world’s largest Catholic gathering of families. It has been described as a celebration of family life and of the Catholic Church’s commitment to support families.

Throughout his visit to the United States this week Pope Francis spoke on the theme of the family in a broad manner referring to issues of education, child parent relationships, employment and poverty. Speaking on the family at the prayer vigil for the World Meeting in Philadelphia on Saturday night Pope Francis said:

            “I think of all those families which lack access to basic health services.  Families which, when faced with medical problems, especially those of their younger or older members, are dependent on a system which fails to meet their needs, is insensitive to their pain, and forces them to make great sacrifices to receive adequate treatment.

            We cannot call any society healthy when it does not leave real room for family life.  We cannot think that a society has a future when it fails to pass laws capable of protecting families and ensuring their basic needs, especially those of families just starting out.  How many problems would be solved if our societies protected families and provided households, especially those of recently married couples, with the possibility of dignified work, housing and healthcare services to accompany them throughout life? 

            God’s dream does not change; it remains intact and it invites us to work for a society which supports families.  A society where bread, “fruit of the earth and the work of human hands” continues to be put on the table of every home, to nourish the hope of its children.”

Previous Meetings have been held Rome in 1994, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1997, Rome again in 2000, Manila in the Philippines in 2003, Valencia, Spain, in 2006, Mexico City, in 2009, Milan in 2012, and Philadelphia 2015.

Pope Francis, speaking of the World Congress, stressed that “the family which experiences the joy of faith communicates it naturally. That family is the salt of the earth and the light of the world; it is the leaven of society”.

The announcement comes just days before the inauguration of the 14th Ordinary General Assembly World Synod of Bishops which will take place in the Vatican from 5th to 26th October on the theme: “The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and the Contemporary World”.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said that he hoped the holding of the Meeting in Ireland would be an occasion to take up the programme of the Synod to strengthen the place of the family in handing on the faith in the face of many new challenges.  He said, the family in Ireland is strong and the Church is called to take up the challenge of ensuring that future Catholic generations are prepared to live their marriage as an itinerary of faith.

The date and the programme of the 2018 Meeting  will be decided at a later stage in consultation with the Pontifical Council for the Family.  The 2018 World Meeting is expected to  extend to various parts of Ireland and given the size of the country, the event will take on different dimensions to that of the Philadelphia event which concluded tonight.

Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, has welcomed the announcement saying, “I am delighted to hear that Pope Francis has announced that the 9th World Meeting of Families will take place in Dublin, and that Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is in Philadelphia with our delegation to hear the news directly from the Holy Father.  Three years ago the 50th International Eucharistic Congress was a great celebration of faith for Ireland, and it attracted pilgrims from all around the world.  I am confident that the World Meeting of Families in 2018 will also be an uplifting event for all of us.

“Despite many challenges, the family remains at the heart of faith and of so much that we hold important in this country.  Our preparations for the World Meeting of Families will inspire us as we implement, over the next few years, the recommendations which will emerge from the Synod on the Family in Rome next month.

“At the ‘Festival of Families’ on Saturday night in Philadelphia, Pope Francis said: “What God most wants from us is to knock on the doors of families and to find people who love each other, who bring up their children with love and who contribute to a society of truth, goodness and beauty.”  I look forward to sharing the joy of this announcement with Archbishop Diarmuid, my fellow bishops and with people from all around the country as we begin thinking about how, together,  we can best plan to make this significant international event a success.”  Source

Comment

Lots of references to “family” and “marriage” in there, but in a formerly Catholic land where the Bishops (especially Archbishop Diarmuid Martin) did nothing to discourage Catholics from voting for same-sex “marriage” and, in fact, gave their tacit, some of us think open support to the YES campaign, this announcement comes as yet one more scandal.  Pope Francis, remember, to this day has remained silent on the pro-same-sex “marriage” vote in Ireland. It is curious, then,  to say the least, that he has chosen Ireland as the host country for the next meeting on “the family” in 2018.  What’s going on?  Precisely how will “marriage” and “the family” be defined by the Irish authorities charged with preparing this World Meeting of “Families”? I’m already seeing rainbow flags and “pride” marches celebrating the event. St Patrick, pray for us!