The Synod for Catholic Youth is over. The question needs to be asked as to whether the event produced any tangible results regarding developing and sustaining the Catholic faith among the participants.

The many deliberations of the Synod touched on contemporary events that affect young Catholics throughout the world. Most pointedly, the issues associated with homosexual lifestyles gained prominence simply because the subject when associated with Catholic morality will always ignite debates and heated discussions.

While the Youth Synod attempted to address the many points that young Catholics encounter in the world that are often incongruous with the social and moral precepts of the Catholic Church, the synod did very little if nothing to bridge the generational gap between the hierarchy of the Church and the idealistic youth for which the synod was convened.

At this point in the life of Catholicism, one should objectively ask many questions regarding the effectiveness of recruiting young people to church when there are many other issues which directly concern the Church’s young people that are not mentioned. The opportunity to apologize publicly to those that are effectively the lifeblood of the future Church was missed, namely a public apology and admission of collective guilt for the global occurrences related to the clergy sex abuse scandal. The Youth Synod was the opportunity event for the hierarchy of the Church, most importantly, Pope Francis to make a public admission of culpability for the many transgressions committed by some of the world’s Catholic clergy against adolescents over the past five decades. The opportunity is gone, and the moment was missed. The oversight of a public admission of collective guilt by the Pope suggests to many that the Vatican considers the sad chapter of sexual violations perpetrated on young people over and resolved. Such an omission on the part of the Holy See illustrates the disconnection between the grievous nature of the transgressions and the true relationship between the Church’s young people and the older generation of clergy that attempt to bridge the chasm that exists between the two groups.

Sadly, opportunities lost at the Youth Synod might not present themselves for a long time. In the United States, in Pennsylvania, the gravity of past abuses is evidenced with the U.S. Justice Departments announcement that they will seek to convene a Federal Grand Jury to review the credible allegations maintained by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.  While the Holy See seems to believe that the crisis is over, the opposite seems correct.

The Youth Synod in Rome was the most opportune moment for the Church to not only accept global responsibility for past offenses, the Synod could have initiated a new progressive spirit of understanding between the youth of the Church and the current papal leadership. Today’s youth are potentially tomorrow’s clergy and potential leadership for the Catholic Church.

The Youth Synod was not without controversy. The attempted inclusion of the LGBTQ designation in the official documents of the events of the synod was met with an appropriate intervention by Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia. Archbishop Chaput’ s commentary and observations were a welcome stance by a member of the American hierarchy that clearly stated that the designation of LGBTQ is in fact contrived and not applicable to members of the Church that are identified sufficiently as males and females. Archbishop Chaput deserves great accolades for his defense of existing appreciation of male and female sexuality and existing terminology. His interjection into the Youth Synod was needed in the light of the Left-winged members of the Church’s hierarchy that intend to influence the world’s youth into lifestyles that are in opposition to the teachings of the Church.

The Youth Synod is over, and the Vatican machine led by Pope Francis that is determined to change the face of the Church by giving credence to the LGBTQ needs to regroup for another day. For the moment, the Right-Wing of the Church has prevailed. Deo Gratias

 

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