Synod, Rome: How to Communicate with Young People?

Synod, Rome: How to Communicate with Young People?

After its first week of work, the Synod assembly on Young People in Rome that runs through October still has a long way to go to achieve its aim of rebuilding links between young people and the Church.

Nevertheless, the bishops have already begun to appreciate how the Church’s culture has gradually distanced itself from young people.

Concern has begun to spread among participants that the final document to be transmitted to Pope Francis will not be effective in reaching out to young people.

“We need to reflect on the way the synod is presenting itself to young people,” said Melbourne Archbishop Peter Comensoli on Oct. 9 as he read the report from his English-speaking workshop to the assembly.

Power of video

The group proposed the synod should each week publish a short video of “less than three minutes” and “fewer than 40 words” outlining its work in various languages.

An example of this was a short interview with Pope Francis that Lyon Auxiliary Bishop Emmanuel Gobilliard made for distribution via social media. The pontiff willingly made himself available for the project.  (Source: La Croix International)

A bishop well-versed in social media. On the youths’ most popular platforms –Twitter, Facebook and Youtube – Mons. Emmanuel Gobilliard, the auxiliary bishop of Lyon, elected member of the French Bishops’ Conference, is sharing with posts and videos the atmosphere, the debates and the addresses delivered in the Vatican Hall where the Synod of Bishops on Young People is under way. With a smile he tells us that he manages to sneak in everywhere. He did not stop even before Pope Francis, whom he managed to interview. “I asked him if he could say a few words to young people, and he spoke meaningful, simple words. Such availability was unexpected to me. It’s a sign of fraternity. A brother among his brothers.”

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