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Catholic Reform Group urges Pope Francis to invite young people not just as auditors but to "make some noise" at the Synod on Youth

Catholic Church Reform Int'l congratulates Pope Francis on calling a Synod dedicated to young men and women. Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops, told journalists yesterday that the presence of young men and women at the synod will help bishops understand how best to accompany youths who are searching for their vocation and path in life. "The mere presence of young people is not enough," said Rene Reid, director of Catholic Church Reform Int'l. "If any change is to come, this needs to be a synod where the bishops become the listening church and the young people become the teaching church sharing their heartfelt experiences."

"This synod should not look like those in the past:

Rather, if anything is to be accomplished, the Synod on Youth and Vocations should look like this:

It is a well-known fact that many young people have turned away from the Church. Why? Because they are more open to a rapidly changing world, having grown up in it without the prejudices of prior generations. From this vantage point, they see the grace of God in fresher and more vibrant terms than a Church governed by older generations. Regarding the laity, Pope Francis has urged the clergy to overcome "the temptation to manipulate them and infantilize them." This synod should be about young people sharing their insights and Bishops listening and engaging them in dialogue. Young people are the future of the Church. If there is to be a future for the Church, the fresh perspectives of millennials must be integrated into the life the Church. How they view the world is likely to make a constructive contribution to the Church's discernment on a number of issues: co-habitation, pre-marital relationships, inter-racial and inter-faith partners, LGBT relationships, birth control and family planning to mention just a few.

Make this Synod truly a synod with young people represented in large numbers and invited to address issues which they are able to see with fresh eyes. Whenever Pope Francis speaks to young people, he encourages them to "make some noise." What better place than at this Synod on Youth and Vocations!