There are few things in this world more dubious than a catalogue of the concerns and aspirations of youth compiled by a committee of geriatrics. Yet that, in the guise of an ‘instrumentum laboris’ prepared for the October synod of bishops, is what has emerged.
At a press conference launching the ‘instrumentum’, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri said the synod’s goal is that young Catholics may find ‘the beauty of life, beginning from the happy relationship with the God of the covenant and of love’, in a world that often robs them of their affections, bonds and prospective of life. The synod dedicated to young people, he said, ‘gives us the opportunity to rediscover the hope of a good life, the dream of a pastoral renewal, the desire for community and passion for education.’
What the assembled journalists made of this largely contentless rhetoric is not known. But their attention must have been grabbed when Baldisseri got to the real nitty-gritty.
‘LGBT youths, through various contributions received by the secretariat of the synod, want to benefit from a greater closeness and experience greater care from the church,’ while some bishops’ conferences are asking what they can recommend to young people who enter into a homosexual relationship, but want to be closer to the church.
Here at last was copy the punters would understand!
Forget the theologizing: what the Synod is really going to be about is SEX. And the ‘instrumentum laboris’ is clearly intended to ensure that that is the case.
Seasoned hacks will, of course, have remembered that Baldisseri has previous. He was accused of inappropriately influencing the Synods on the Family in the same way.
Three questions need to be asked:
- Why is Baldisseri still in charge of this process?
- Why is it thought appropriate that a document provided as background for bishops should be unveiled at a press conference?
- Who, if anybody, can verify the accuracy of the summary of ‘groups of young people’ and conferences of bishops which the ‘instrumentum’ contains?