Bishops get a lot of unsolicited mail from strangers, some of it pleasant, some of it much less so. It goes with the job. But every once in a while a letter comes in that’s worth sharing with a wider audience.
Last month, in preparation for the October 2018 synod, roughly 300 young adults from around the world gathered in Rome to discuss their views of faith and the Church. The result was a valuable experience of dialogue and learning—so valuable that I think that continuing the process of listening to a wide range of young adult experiences is important. In that spirit, I offer a letter below, which I received just afterthe March pre-synod gathering. It was unsolicited and from a stranger—but hardly the first such letter to come my way. Though I’ve removed the author’s name and other identifiers, the content is unchanged and used with his permission. It deserves consideration as we seek a fuller understanding of the pastoral challenges facing young adults in a changing world.
I am 26 years old, a father of three young children, and I wish to offer my perspective, shared by many of my peers, on Rome’s upcoming synod [on “Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment”].
Though the Church’s growing focus on evangelization of the “Nones” is encouraging, there have been recent discussions emanating from several prominent figures in Rome and throughout Church leadership regarding a so-called “paradigm shift” relative to doctrine, the supremacy of individual conscience, and pastoral accommodation. My wife and I find these developments disturbing and potentially disastrous for the evangelization of the young and the fallen-away.
We young people crave the truth and clarity of good teaching. On a secular level this is evidenced by the meteoric rise in popularity of Jordan Peterson. We crave the truth, no matter how blunt or difficult it is for us to swallow or for the shepherds of our flock to teach.
Read more at First Things.