By Hannah Brockhaus, ACI Prensa
In an interview published Thursday, Cardinal Pietro Parolin said that for the Vatican, the new year will be marked by its attention to the lives of young people ahead of the 2018 Synod of Bishops.
“This year – the year 2018 – will be characterized by a special concentration of the Church’s attention at all levels on the young, then on their expectations, their aspirations, the challenges they face and also on the hopes that they bring with them, as on their weaknesses and fears.”
This approach searches “for a new relationship between the Church and young people, based on a paradigm of responsibility exempt from any paternalism,” said Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, in a new interview with Vatican News (formerly called Vatican Radio).
Published Jan. 11, the interview covered the topic of the upcoming Synod of Bishops on Youth, Vocation and Discernment, which will take place in October 2018, as well as the World Meeting of Families in August, Amoris laetitia, reform of the Curia, and the Pope’s imminent trip to Chile and Peru.
About the Synod on Youth, Parolin noted the Church’s strong desire to enter into a dialogue with young people that goes both ways.
He referred to the famous line by John F. Kennedy that says, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country,” explaining that they want to not only help youth, but invite them to contribute to the Church and to the evangelization of the Gospel.
“I believe that at this invitation young people will be able to respond with their generosity and also with their enthusiasm,” he said.
About the Pope’s immanent trip to Chile and Peru, which begins Jan. 15, Parolin said that, as usual, Francis goes as a pastor to meet the local church, which in the two countries is particularly vibrant.
On the other hand, Chile and Peru also face many challenges, one of which is the difficulties experienced by the indigenous people of the Amazon, one of the reasons Francis has called for a Synod on the Pan-Amazon area to take place in 2019.
Another event happening this year is the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, which Parolin said he believes will be an important stage “of reflection… of deepening” in the discussions surrounding the controversial encyclical.
The document arose, according to Parolin, from a “new paradigm,” one that Pope Francis is carrying out with “wisdom, with prudence and also with patience,” and which calls for a new attitude, spirit and approach.
Amoris laetitia is the Church’s “embrace” of the family and its problems, especially those encountered in the world today. It is also “a request to help families to collaborate and contribute to the growth of the Church,” he said.
The cardinal also spoke about the Pope’s reform of the Roman Curia, which he emphasized is less about the structural reform through new laws, regulations, etc., but conversion.
“So, to ensure that the Curia – ever more and always better, taking away even those shadows that can hinder this commitment and this mission – can really become an aid to the Pope to proclaim the Gospel, to witness the Gospel, to evangelize the world of today,” he said.