What you need to know about the 2018 Synod on Young People

Pope Francis greets the crowd after celebrating the opening Mass of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment at the Vatican Oct 3. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) 

The 2018 Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment—which began Oct. 3 and will conclude Oct. 28—is the culmination of focused work that began in 2017. In a letter on Jan. 2017, Pope Francis announced the synod and presented a preparatory document.

The bishops’ task for 2017 was to listen to young people. They disseminated a survey of young people’s experiences in dioceses worldwide before the synod. Additionally, a pre-synodal meeting of 300 young people from around the world was held in March 2018. (On Jesuitical, America’s podcast for young Catholics, Katie Prejean McGrady told us about what it was like to be at the pre-synodal gathering.) The young people produced a document “on the state of things, their ideas, their feelings and their recommendations.” This document, along with the synod of bishops’ Instrumentum laboris, or working document, will inform the Synod onYoung People.

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Some have called for the synod on youth to be cancelled in light of recent revelations of sexual abuse; however, the synod continued as planned on Oct. 3. And despite recent criticisms directed at Pope Francis, the president delegate for the opening afternoon’s plenary session, Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako I, expressed the synod’s support for the pope, saying: “We wish to express our closeness to you and to thank you for the indications you have given, which give us strength to go forward.”

America’s Vatican correspondent, Gerard O’Connell,and America’s national correspondent, Michael O’Loughlin, will be in Rome covering the 2018 Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.

From Michael and Gerry:

More on what is happening at the 2018 Synod on Young People:

      Opinions and reflections on young people and the synod:

      More on the lead up to the 2018 Synod on Young People:

      Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
      Robert Kelly
      1 year 6 months ago

      I know I'm more than a day late on this, but I see three religious brothers are members of the Synod. We should have recommended some religious sisters to be members. No woman has had a vote at these Synods. The leaders of orders of teaching sisters and Catholic School principals work daily with our Catholic youth and would have been a welcome addition to the Synod.
      I'm happy the Church is having this Synod and involved many young people and lay people in general. But it was a missed opportunity to give women a vote in the Church on something where everyone agrees they have competence.

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