Well, as Edward Pentin describes it, the Synod on Youth is off to a disastrous start:
The nearly month long Vatican synod for young people got underway Oct. 3, with Pope Francis calling on the synod fathers to have an attitude of “listening” to young people, to reject “prejudice and stereotypes” and to welcome and understand today’s youth by being willing to “change our convictions and positions.”
In his discourse at the first general congregation of the synod — the theme of which is “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment” — the Pope stressed the importance of young people making the effort to “swim against the tide” and to strive for “lofty values” of “family, fidelity, love, faith, sacrifice, service, eternal life.”
“It truly is worth the effort. It is not a waste of time,” he said. “Your participation fills us with joy and hope.” Thirty-six young people will be among the 49 auditors taking part in the synod, which continues through Oct. 28, offering contributions but without a vote.
Turning to the synod fathers, Francis called the synod a “moment of sharing,” and, as during the previous synod on the family, he invited all participants to speak with parrhesia (courage and frankness), adding that only dialogue “can help us grow.” An honest, transparent critique is “constructive and helpful,” he said, and does not engage in “useless chatter, rumors, conjectures or prejudices.”
Reminding the synod fathers of his comments at the pre-synod meeting, the Pope said “everyone has the right to be heard, just as everyone has the right to speak.” Listening, he said, “creates space for dialogue,” and the “first fruit” of this dialogue is that all are “open to newness, to change their opinions.”
Speaking to reporters Oct. 1, the synod’s general relator, Cardinal Sergio da Rocha, said the synod’s working document stressed the importance of an “open and welcoming attitude” and the need to accompany people to have “the fullness of life” by knowing the reality of their lives and allowing oneself to be “challenged” by the “complex issues” they face related to “affectivity and sexuality.”
Go here to read the rest. I wonder if Pope Francis has decided to attempt to make the Church his funeral pyre.