During a press briefing as part of the Synod of Bishops, Archbishop Charles Scicluna said: “We need to put on the agenda not only the question of prevention, but also accountability. This should be on the agenda [of the Pope’s meeting with heads of episcopal conferences]. We bishops realise that we are ac­countable, not only to God but also to our people. We are not only ac­countable on a personal level for what we do, we are also accountable when it comes to stewardship.

“I think that when the Holy Father, surrounded by a good representation of 260 bishops from all over the world, hears the same wish to go from beautiful words to actions, he is obviously empowered to do what he really wants for the Church, and that is to make the Church a safer place.”    

We are ashamed

Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney, Australia, said: “I was very aware… that there are a lot of young people hurting. And I thought  the Church, has to speak directly to them. Likewise, I think the laity of our Church wants to hear this said by the Church. We really are ash­amed of what has happened and we want to make it right to the ex­tent we can, and we’re determined to do better in the future.”         

New opportunities

In her address at the synod, South Korean Sr Mina Kwon said: “Catho­licism brought new opportunities for women to become leaders and teachers [in Korea]. Women were given an almost equal place in the initial stage of the Korean Church. It was a new and revolutionary thing. …Youth needs two mentorships, male and female. Living in a more authentic Church is what young people are longing for.”        

Desideratum in evangelisation

Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles said: “I hope it is clear that arrogant proselytising has no place in our pastoral outreach, but I hope it is equally clear that an intelligent, respectful, and culturally sensitive explication of the faith (‘giving a reason for the hope that is within us’) is certainly a desideratum (‘desire’).”    

Different times

Nigerian Bishop Godfrey Igwebuike Onah of Nsukka said: “As a bishop rightly pointed out, sometimes we talk about our own experience of youth thinking that it corresponds with the present experience of young people, not remembering that our experience 30, 40, 50, 60 years ago is quite different from the experience of young people today.

“[Nevertheless] even though many old people are talking about youth, it is still positive that they are doing that.”

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)

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