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VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican's culture ministry warned that the Catholic Church risks losing future generations if it doesn't learn how to understand young people, their language and their culture.

17 Comments

  1. I read the article. I work with youth all the time. They are hungry for God as all of us are. I just wanted to say studies help, but most importantly they just need someone to reach out to them. Youth are open minded, usually hiding behind a shell of insecurity and uncertainty. They need someone who isn’t there to scold but to lead, someone to listen, someone to care. Young people need young people to be around, “to hang out” as it were. That means helping them find good friends of the same mindset with whom they can do that with, and having someone there to help them find out that they don’t just need to hang out but that they can do something big for God.

    • It’s clear you’re trying to ‘match-make’ between youth and the gods, but perhaps the fact that ‘The Vatican doesn’t understand youth’ really means ‘youth does not need the Vatican to explain life’s mysteries any more’.

      Our youth (at least in the Western world, with the rest following at their own pace) is more educated and informed that ever, with access to information that is not tainted by religious overtones. I’m not suggesting that all religious influence is necessarily bad, but some of it clearly is, and certainly it’s not ‘necessary’ to live a full and good life.

      To say “They are hungry for God as all of us are” betrays your perspective as being too heavily influenced already. There are many other avenues to a productive and happy existence and education is highlighting those options, bypassing religions that are still stuck in the ‘saving souls’ mode.

      Throughout history, youth has been looking for answers, and religion is no longer the only source for satisfying that natural and necessary curiosity.

    • Lynne Newington

      Daniel, and they need their fathers.
      These day’s many don’t even know they’re roots.
      In Melbourne Victoria, a past archbishop had a facility in place for many years [still being utilized into the early 1980’s], for clergy unable to maintain their vows.
      With a nationwide inquiry into forced [and illegal ] adoptions a couple of years ago, it became clear, many of these now adult children, had no idea who their fathers were even if able to trace their Catholic mothers.

  2. So, theese are all good purposes and finally the clergy is probably understanding that something is going wrong in the relationship between church and youth generations. I hope they won’t stop here their inquiry because catholic principles can give a lot to young generations and viceversa. I also think that trying to explain such changements with the help of the sociologists isn’t a good way to approach to the problem. The church should become more ”human” and walk down from the pedestal on which has been for a lot of time. Priests should go down in the street and listen, only listen the young generations. They don’t need to talk, cause ofc almost everybody in the occidental side of the world knows about catholic teachings. Listen.
    Obviously clergy should also understand that the 18-29 years old generation has changed, and more now than before, some inconsistencies of the catholic and clerical world are now more known to youngs. And it’s probably this fact that has more often taken a girl/boy out from catholic environment.

  3. A good start would be to grant rescripts or laicization for clergy father’s who request it.
    Children have the right to have their father seen in good standing within society and before God, an example of the importance of the family.
    These day’s refused due to the “element of scandal” and inheritance rights.

  1. […] Religion News Service: Vatican admits it doesn’t fully understand youth culture The Vatican’s culture ministry warned on Thursday (Jan. 31) that the Catholic Church risks losing future generations if it doesn’t learn how to understand young people, their language and their culture. The Pontifical Council for Culture invited sociologists, web experts and theologians to a three-day, closed-door event on Feb. 6-9 aimed at studying “emerging youth cultures.” […]

  2. […] Alessandro Speciale: “VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican’s culture ministry warned on Thursday (Jan. 31) that the Catholic Church risks losing future generations if it doesn’t learn how to understand young people, their language and their culture. The Pontifical Council for Culture invited sociologists, web experts and theologians to a three-day, closed-door event on Feb. 6-9 aimed at studying “emerging youth cultures.” According to a working paper released ahead of the meeting, the church risks “offering answers to questions that are not there” if it doesn’t learn “the cultural reality of young people.” […]

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