The synod of bishops on young people, the faith, and vocational discernment is being held at the Vatican Oct. 3-28.
CNA plans to provide a brief daily summary of the sessions, provided by the synodal fathers from Poland.
Please find below the Polish fathers’ summary of the Oct. 8 session:
A compass for the Instrumentum Laboris, the irreplaceable role of both father and mother in the family, tasks of Catholic schools, and the importance of memory – these are some of the issues raised in language groups during the synod on Monday.
October 8 was entirely devoted to working in language groups.
“We tried to center our attention on the first part of the Instrumentum Laboris. We have found that this text needs a compass, that is, an orientation, that would give meaning to the whole. This compass could be the passage in the Gospel of John about the young man who brings five loaves and two fishes (Jn 6:9–13). The little that he has with him is distributed by Jesus and nourishes many people. This would indicate that every young person has something to offer not only to the Church but also to the world, simply because he or she exists and has gifts to share,” said Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki of Poznań, President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference.
Another topic was the attention to the fact that both the father and the mother are responsible for the family and share the duty of education in the family. “Not mother or father separately, but mother and father together, thus avoiding the phenomenons of paternalism or matriarchy, linked to the different situations on different continents. In the African context, it is the mother who bears the main responsible for the family’s life, whereas in other places in the world the father alone makes the decisions,” noted Archbishop Gądecki.
The third issue that the bishops talked about, and which was missing in the working document, is the ‘memory’, that Pope Francis often speaks about. “You have to give value to the memory. Young people tend to run towards the future, to diminish the value of the present, so they should be taught to appreciate memory,” emphasized Archbishop Gądecki.
The bishops also drew attention to the question of the Catholic schools, emphasizing the common good they create. “Catholic schools do not work for themselves, they are not only for Catholics, but they serve the common good. In this sense, they are worthy of state support, because they fill gaps that the state cannot fill,” said Archbishop Gądecki.
On Tuesday, October 9, the results of the group discussions will be presented in the Synod Aula.