“You can rest assured that there is nothing preordained or ‘foregone’ in the current synod process; everything will depend on what will come out of the efforts of the Bishops Conferences, and, after making due allowances, from the online questionnaire”. This was assured by cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Episcopal Synod, to the 275 delegates of the 37 European Bishops Conferences gathered in Barcelona for the European Symposium of Ccee, which will be ending today. “Experiencing a synod – Baldisseri said – means ‘walking together along the same road’, as a full Church: the Pope, the bishops, priests, consecrated men and women, lay men and women, young people. With the courage of questioning ourselves, the wish to test our own beliefs, and the will to revive our own practices”.
The general secretary of the Synod lists four priorities. The first one is that “the Synod may really be a Synod” and that “everyone may feel involved, may express their beliefs, may be happy to share their experiences and submit solutions. This must happen positively and constructively, of course”, but Pope Francis’s wants everyone to be able to “express themselves freely and openly”. The second one is that “the world of the young may really be listened to! Too many times in the Church the young are spoken about in the same way as Job began to speak of God, by hearsay”. In this respect, Baldisseri pointed out that the Secretariat of the Synod will soon play its part too by launching a website with a questionnaire that will be directly addressed to all young people, in order to make it easier to involve them in the synod process. The address is www.sinodogiovani2018.va and “it intends to strengthen the joint commitment to listening to young people, not to replace or reduce it”. “We are simply trying to support you to reach the highest possible number of young people across the world, with some questions that can more directly touch on their real life experiences”. The third priority asks the Church to “loyally question itself! In its pastoral service for young people, by checking out what works and what doesn’t, by looking for new ways”. Lastly, and this is the fourth recommendation, Baldisseri states: “In this process, the Holy Father calls us to dream! He calls us to prophesise and, in the light of the Spirit, to venture into new avenues”.