- Jul 7, 2020
The pope has shifted the debate over how authority is exercised in Catholicism from a contest over “collegiality,” the preferred term in the 50 years following the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), to one about “synodality,” which is his preferred argot.
Professors, youth ministers and lay theologians across the country give different reasons for why young people are leaving the Church, but they all agree that listening and mentoring are key to developing and maintaining faith.
Catholic young adults felt the hierarchy started listening to them in preparation for the 2018 Synod of Bishops on young people, and they will do whatever they can to make sure their voices continue to be heard, said a youth minister from New Zealand.
Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation “Christus Vivit” (“Christ Lives”) is a “wonderful summons to the church to more vigorously invest in youth and young adults, especially those on the peripheries and those disconnected from the church,” said a trio of leaders within the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
In his new exhortation on young people, Pope Francis did not shy away from delving into the abuse crisis as a major challenge to the Catholic Church’s credibility among youth, but a notable omission was any reference to adopting a ‘zero tolerance’ policy to clerical sexual abuse.
As faithful await the pope’s document on young people, youth experts discuss the opportunities and challenges ahead.