The Vatican’s youth synod is well underway in Rome and will not conclude until the end of October. While some had been calling for the synod’s cancellation in light of the ongoing scandals regarding clergy misconduct, and while others had called for a complete overhaul of the synod’s working document, all appears to be unfolding according to plan. Thus far, public apology has been made to youth for the sins committed against them and their peers by the ministers of the Church. According to Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney, Australia, these sins include — in addition to sexual abuse — the withholding of the fullness of Church teaching from young people in an effort to minimize the challenge of the Gospel in light of secular sensibilities, the celebration of irreverent or uninspiring liturgies and ambiguity in answering the concrete questions of young people who have sought out guidance in times of confusion or difficulty in their own search for Christian or human maturity.
Archbishop Fisher encouraged the youth attending the synod: “When you are lost and need direction, know that the young Jesus is the eternal Way for you! When you are confused and need sound teaching, know that the young Jesus is the eternal Truth for you! When you are searching for the vocation that will most fulfil you, know that the young Jesus is eternal Life for you!” If the remainder of the synod is marked by such an emphasis on the rediscovery of the centrality and indispensability of a vibrant relationship with Jesus in the community of the Church, then it will be successful.