“The discussions have found a lot of similarities as well as a few differences. Now, the reason why the Church needs unity in diversity is clear to me”, Thomas Andonie, president of the German Catholic Youth Federation (Bdkj), one of the two German delegates at the pre-Synod in Rome, commented today. “The fact Pope Francis is promoting a healthy decentralisation has been welcomed in the young people’s talks”. As to the final document approved by the young people on Saturday, Andonie says he is glad that “some of the Bdkj’s important ideas have been shared by many young people”, such as, for instance, “that young people can speak for themselves, that women must have equal rights in the Church and in society, that diversity is a valuable asset”. Apart from some procedural limitations in the drawing up of the final document, which, for instance, had to leave out the “idea to invite as many young delegates as bishops to the October Synod”, an idea “shared by lots of other young people at the pre-Synod”, Andonie said he is “grateful for the many meetings and the work shared in Rome. “For the first time, the Vatican has directly involved young people in the preparations for a Synod”. Bdkj will keep working towards this goal, especially by translating the document.