Three issues dominated yesterday's press briefing for the Synod of Bishops on Young People: the digital world, loneliness and the Korean Peninsula. Source: Vatican News.
Paolo Ruffini, the Prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Communications, said that discussions in the Synod assembly continued in a serene and cheerful manner with lots of joyful interactions between the bishops and young people.
He said that there was an emphasis on the fact that charity mustn’t just be preached but also seen in action. He told journalists that one young person told the Synod Fathers that thousands of young people looked towards them for something concrete from the Synod, they trusted the Fathers would meet their hopes.
Dr Ruffini said that although the digital world is a great development and facilitates the exchange of information it also has boundaries. The danger of manipulation and a culture of violence is very real in both images and writing, he said, adding that the Church must help bring humanity back to the digital world.
Archbishop Bruno Forte of Italy said that the Synod assembly recognised that there are many young people who are lonely, not engaging in the reality of relationships, but rather seeking them online. The Synod assembly pondered how the Church reaches these young people who are alone in the dark in front of their computers which, he said, threatens to swallow them.
Bishop Lazzaro You Heung-sik from South Korea noted that he met some fearful young people, too. They were fearful of the sacrifices and the impact on their lifestyles if there was a reunification between North and South Korea.
Speaking about the situation in Korea, Bishop Heung-sik said that until last year many believed that there would be a war between North and South Korea. This has now changed. He ascribes this to the Olympic games saying that the event helped to establish a relationship between the two.
The Bishop cautioned that lots of work still has to be done and change will be necessary, specifically mentioning North Korea ensuring religious freedom. He said that by listening and gathering opinions, especially those of young people, the Church can assist move things forward and in so doing create a climate of cooperation.
Synod: the digital world, fear, loneliness and Korea (Vatican News)