I haven`t seen any reaction to the report in the Catholic Herald about young Catholics in advance of the next Synod of bishops in October in Rome on the theme of "Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment` but I thought it was significant. We were asked to encourage our young parishioners to respond to a questionnaire about the Church in preparation for the Synod. I must confess I did very little about it having lost most of my enthusiasm for being consulted after a rather long process in our own diocese over the last three years which I started on with some optimism but that disappeared when the final outcome and report was much as I might have expected before the whole thing started.
However to my surprise the report from the Bishops of England and Wales (which I can find nowhere apart from this article in the Catholic Herald ) instead of coming up with the expected responses seems to have actually noticed what is going on. The CH headline is `Young Catholics `either nostalgic or progressive``. I never thought I`d see the day when a report on Catholic Youth didn`t conclude that what was needed to keep young people at Mass was more balloons and people in leotards hopping around the altar. It seems Juventutem and Faith and others have finally been noticed. Does this mean our Youth Village may soon host a day of reflection led by the Institute of Christ the King? That the Youth Mission Team may start classes on Gregorian chant?
The artice says the bishops have discovered that `There are two groups of young Catholics: those who want to return to a previous era, and those who think the Church should follow current social trends`. Admittedly the first group is much smaller than the second but I`d bet it produces a far higher proportion of vocations to the priesthood and religious life, to the dismay of some vocations` directors.
Well I look forward to seeing the report. I may even begin to offer my opinion occasionally when asked.