A Vatican-hosted conference of 300 young people has acknowledged that some in their generation want the Church to change its teachings on “polemical issues” such as same-sex marriage and contraception. Source: NCR.
In a final document issued after a week-long meeting in Rome, the young people also called on the Church to better include them at all levels of its global community and noted women are “not given an equal place” in Church leadership.
“The Church must involve young people in its decision-making processes and offer them more leadership roles,” the document states. It was issued on Saturday after six days of encounter intended to help prelates who will gather in Rome in October for a Synod of Bishops focused on the needs of young people.
“These positions need to be on a parish, diocesan, national and international level, even on a commission to the Vatican,” it continues. “We strongly feel that we are ready to be leaders.”
The final document for the pre-synod meeting says young people are looking for an “authentic Church” that should be “a transparent, welcoming, honest, inviting, communicative, accessible, joyful and interactive community”.
“A credible Church is one which is not afraid to allow itself to be seen as vulnerable. The Church should be sincere in admitting its past and present wrongs.”
The young people address Church teachings on same-sex marriage and contraception in a section of the document on how youth today are searching for meaning in life.
“There is often great disagreement among young people, both within the Church and in the wider world, about some of her teachings which are especially controversial today,” the text states. “Examples of these include: contraception, abortion, homosexuality, cohabitation, marriage, and how the priesthood is perceived in different realities in the Church.”
“What is important to note is that irrespective of their level of understanding of Church teaching, there is still disagreement and ongoing discussion among young people on these polemical issues,” it continues. “As a result, they may want the Church to change her teaching or at least have access to a better explanation and to more formation on these questions.”