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European Bishops: card. Nichols, a document from Ccee submitted to the Secretariat of the Synod to help with the preparations

A document about young people will be submitted by the European Bishops to the Secretariat of the Synod as the result of their discussions and as an aid for the preparations for the Synod for Youth, due in Vatican City next year. It was announced in Minsk today by card. Vincent Nichols, archbishop of Westminster and deputy president of the Council of EU Bishops Conferences, who was there for the Plenary Assembly of the European Bishops, that today was all focussed on youth. “We certainly intend to have a document before the end of this meeting – card. Nichols said –, in which all that has been said will be written. Such document will be the contribution that Ccee makes to the preparations for the Synod. I am a member of the Committee for the preparation of the Synod that will be convened in November, and I will make sure that what has been said will be listened to”. This morning, the Bishops first split into small groups by language, then they gathered in a plenary assembly, where each group reported about the results of their discussions. “I think – the cardinal said – that our goal is to respond to Pope Francis’s call, that young people should become the mainstays of history, the advocates of change”. Inspired by their discussions, the Bishops spoke of the feeling of uncertainty in which young people live today. “Sometimes, they come from difficult family and personal experiences, but they are generous”, the English cardinal pointed out, emphasising that the Bishops’ approach to young people has been “positive”. “They live in a different culture from the one we grew up in. It is a rapidly-changing culture, that is made more of images and sounds that theories and philosophies. We admitted that we need to love such culture, to get into it, not to approach it with fear or with the wish to correct it or to find fault with it”. But, to do this, one needs to act upon what card. Nichols called “pastoral conversion, which does not only mean deciding to approach young people, but being prepared to a conversion that comes from ourselves, getting rid of prejudices and getting close to others, without looking at them through the filter of what we already known. An example of such pastoral conversion is given by Pope Francis in the way he meets people with simple gestures: such pastoral conversion is essential to discernment, which will be the keyword of the Synod”.

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