Pope announces pre-synod meeting to listen to youths' hopes, doubts

By Junno Arocho Esteves

CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis has invited Christian and non-Christian young people
from around the world to a meeting in preparation for the Synod of Bishops on
youth in 2018.

concluding his weekly general audience, the pope said the March 19-24, 2018, pre-synod meeting will
be an opportunity for the church to listen to the hopes and concerns of young
men and women.

this journey, the church wants to listen to the voices, the sensibilities, the
faith as well as the doubts and criticisms of young people. We must listen to
young people,” Pope Francis said Oct. 4.

The theme
chosen by the pope for the Synod
of Bishops, which will be held in October 2018, is: “Young people, faith and
vocational discernment.”

The general secretariat of the synod said the initiative “will allow young people to
express their expectations and desires as well as their uncertainties and
concerns in the complex affairs of today’s world.”

people attending the meeting will represent bishops’ conferences, the Eastern Catholic churches, men
and women in consecrated life and seminarians preparing for the priesthood, the
general secretariat said.

gathering also will
include representatives from other Christian communities and other religions
and experts in the fields of education, culture, sports and arts, who
“are involved in
helping young people discern their choices in life.”

pre-synod meeting will enrich
the consultation phase,
which began with the publication of the preparatory document and its
questionnaire, along with the launch of an online website containing a specific questionnaire
for young people,” the
synod office said in a statement.

drawn from the meeting, the general secretariat added, will be given to members of the Synod of Bishops
“to encourage their reflection and in-depth study.”

people attending the meeting also will take part in the Palm Sunday Mass at the Vatican March 25,
coinciding with local
celebrations of World Youth Day.

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Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

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