Bishops asked to study how the Catholic Church responds to youth in crisis
ATICAN CITY (RNS) U.S. Catholic bishops are being asked how to better address young victims of extreme violence and drug addiction as part of a global youth survey supported by Pope Francis.
The survey of bishops and pastors includes questions that are specific to each continent and is part of the preparation for the 2018 Synod of Bishops, which will focus on young people.
As details of the survey were announced at the Vatican Friday (Jan. 13), Francis urged young people in an open letter to share their doubts and criticisms of the church.
“A better world can be built as a result of your efforts, your desire to change and your generosity,” the pope said in the letter.
“The church also wishes to listen to your voice, your sensitivities and your faith; even your doubts and your criticism,” Francis said. “Make your voice heard.”
The next synod will ask bishops and priests about cultural changes, particularly digital media and technology, that are changing young people’s relationship with the church.
The preparatory document released Friday includes a series of 15 questions to be answered by national conferences of bishops and other church bodies.
The document, entitled “Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment,” said the church needs to assess its pastoral approach to young people living in a fast-changing world where globalization, economic and social hardship present major challenges.
Apart from input from bishops and pastors, young people will also be able to express their views directly through a dedicated website that will be launched by the Vatican on March 1.