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In communion and with frankness

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In communion and with frankness

“€œWe have worked in communion, with frankness and the desire to serve God”€™s people”€. With these words, Pope Francis made an initial assessment of the Synod of Bishops for the Young People, which opened on 3 October and concluded, more than three weeks later,
on 28 October, with Mass in the Basilica.

In his homily, the Pope reaffirmed the
Church”€™s desire to listen to young people “€œwith love”€, because, as he explained, “€œGod is young and loves young people”€. He invited all to ask for “€œthe grace of a heart that listens”€, then, addressing the young people directly, asked them to “€œforgive us if often we have not listened to you”€ when, “€œinstead of opening our hearts, we have filled your

The Pope spoke of a second attitude; that
of “€œcloseness”€. He clarified what “€œbringing the newness of God into the lives of our brothers and sisters”€ means, speaking of
it as the “€œantidote to the temptation of easy answers and fast fixes”€, avoiding the extremes of doctrinalism and activism. He reminded us that “€œwe want to. imitate Jesus and, like him, to dirty our hands”€, and become “€œbringers of new life”€.

Finally, the Pope urged all to bear
witness, recalling that “€œIt is not Christian to expect that our brothers and sisters who are seekers should have to knock on
our doors; we ought to go out to them”€, bringing with us Jesus and not”€œourselves, our own “€œrecipes”€ and “€œlabels”€ into the Church”€.

In the Angelus as well, pronounced at the
end of the celebration, the Pope spoke of the synodal experience, defining it as “€œa time of consolation and hope”€, marked by listening and “€œcommunity discernment”€. Following the Marian prayer in St. Peter”€™s Square, the Pope
expressed his grief for the “€œinhuman act of violence”€ which took place in
Pittsburgh”€™s synagogue.

Saturday afternoon, 27 October, during
the last General Congregation of the Assembly, Pope Francis spoke at the end of the voting on the final document, whose text was approved by the large majority of the Fathers. He reaffirmed that the Synod is “€œa protected space for the Holy Spirit to act”€, and assured that the text that emerged from the Fathers”€™ reflections would continue to be studied and
reflected upon. The Pope also made an appeal for continued prayer and penitence to defend the Church from “€œpersecution”€ and the “€œcontinuous accusations”€ to which She continues to be subject. Pope Francis recognized this, saying, “€œIt is a
difficult moment, because the accuser, attacking us, attacks the Mother, but
the Mother is not to be touched”€.


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