Vatican official tells Hong Kong youths: Get involved in synod prep

IMAGE: CNS photo/Francis Wong


HONG KONG (CNS) — Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary-general
of the Synod of Bishops, encouraged young Catholics in Hong Kong to get
involved in preparation for the next Synod of Bishops, which will discuss young
people. reported that during a 90-minute dialogue held May
13 with a group of mostly young Catholics, Cardinal Baldisseri explained how
the church is preparing the October 2018 synod, which has the theme, “Young
people, faith and vocational discernment.”

Cardinal Baldisseri added that the theme “referred to
all young people on the earth, not just Catholics and Christians.”

He encouraged Hong Kong Catholics not to ignore the “opportunity
to be involved” in the synod and to keep a look out “at the general secretariat
website for a questionnaire, which you can fill out online.”

University student Philomena Poon and some other
participants told they are interested in expressing their views.

“In the past, we got pontifical writings on issues such
as family, marriage and love, but this time it is about young people, and we also
get a cardinal coming here to meet us. It shows the church pays heed to us,
which gives us motivation to get involved,” said Poon.

At the meeting, Cardinal Baldisseri’s first event after his
arrival in Hong Kong, he took questions from students, a seminarian, a young
family, a disabled person, a refugee and others.

Young people asked for advice on how to resist the trend of
being against or without the church; the key elements to make one’s vocation
mature; how to fulfill “everyday discernment” in family
relationships, work and children’s education.

Citing Pope Francis’ remarks on the “culture of the
ephemeral,” which stressed enjoying the moment, the cardinal asked the
youth “to be revolutionaries” and have the courage to swim against
the tides.

When a worker from the youth ministry asked him how adults
could deal with same-sex attraction in young people, the cardinal stressed the
importance of accompaniment and helping young people with “day-to-day

Cardinal Baldisseri was making his first seven-day visit to
two Chinese communities in East Asia. Besides meeting with young people, he delivered
a talk on family May 14 as part of the diocesan program for the Year of Family
2017. He also was scheduled to attend a conference on family in Taiwan and meet
with youth there.

There are no figures on the number of youth among Hong Kong’s
389,000 Catholics. Government statistics for 2016 show 25 percent of the city’s
population of 7.3 million is between 16-34 years of age, reported.

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