Now more than ever, we must turn our attention to our young people and engage them as ‘protagonists’ of the Church’s mission. Their insights can help us grow as a Church and guide us as we all learn to become better missionary disciples in an intercultural and intergenerational context. We look forward to what comes next, in collaboration with Catholic ministry leaders already working alongside young people. We look forward to the journey ahead, and pray with St. John Paul II, a patron of young people whose passing we remember today, for the Church’s ongoing mission to all generations.
The post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Christus Vivit, is a significant milestone of the synodal process begun by Pope Francis in 2016. After two years of consultation by episcopal conferences, movements, and Catholic organizations, along with a worldwide online survey and a Pre-Synod Meeting with young adults in March 2018, the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops met in October 2018 on the theme ‘Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.’ Bishops, clergy, religious, and lay people, including a number of young people, together with Pope Francis, addressed the challenges facing younger generations today and ways in which the Church can best respond. Now the work of the Holy Spirit, manifest in the sessions of the Synod, will bear fruit in the dioceses of the United States.”
Priests at a Catholic parish in northern Poland have drawn criticism after they burned an African wooden mask, a small Buddhist figure, figurines of elephants and books on personality and magic, as well as those by J.K. Rowling. They were all brought in by parishioners, who were encouraged by the priests to clear their homes of objects that had evil forces. Influential in Poland, the Catholic Church objects to “Harry Potter” books, which are international best-sellers, saying they promote sorcery.
Many comments under the Facebook postings condemned the book burning, recalling that also happened in Nazi Germany before World War II. Some said this taught hatred and asked if the next in line for burning were witches, like in the Middle Ages.
The event was criticized by the Rev. Wojciech Parafianowicz, spokesman for the diocese of Koszalin, where the foundation is based, who said he “did not like this form of priestly activity, which is wrong.”
But, speaking with the wpolityce.pl news portal, Parafianowicz argued that the occult and magic “have a bad influence on human life.”
A Chinese communist official has stressed that state controls over religion aim to prevent unwarranted foreign interference while seeming to concede that the process of localization might take longer than some people think.
Wang Zuoan, deputy minister of the party’s United Front Work Department, insisted there must be Communist Party leadership in relation to religious practice taking into account “geopolitical” factors. He said Sinicization sought to turn “religions in China” into “religions of China.”
Regarding Catholicism, Wang focused on the official requirement for the China Church to be autonomous from foreign powers in order to allow for “self-electing” of bishops and converting “underground forces” into being loyal to the state.
According to one Catholic, who identified himself as John, believed that the communist regime continues to see the underground church community as an enemy and regards the Vatican as a foreign power without directly naming it. He said that having real authority to freely carry out pastoral activities was more in “Rome’s imagination” than reflective of current realities in China.