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Youth synod final report released, addresses gender, sexuality

The 167-paragraph document states that the “Church struggles to convey the beauty of the Christian vision of the body and sexuality,” and therefore “a search for more adequate methods is urgently needed.”

Bishops attend a session of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment at the Vatican Oct. 23. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Vatican City, Oct 27, 2018 / 04:38 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The final report of the fifteenth general session of the Synod of Bishops, held on the topics of young people, faith, and vocational discernment, was released Saturday. The document says the Church must find new ways of presenting its teaching on sexuality and continue to “accompany” and “listen to” people with same-sex attraction.

The final draft of the synod report was presented to members Oct. 27 for voting, which took place in two sessions that day. The draft was passed in its entirety. During the voting process, each paragraph of the document was voted on, requiring 166 or more “yes” votes — a two-thirds majority — to pass and be included in the final report.

Each paragraph passed by a comfortable margin.

The 167-paragraph document states that the “Church struggles to convey the beauty of the Christian vision of the body and sexuality,” and therefore “a search for more adequate methods is urgently needed.”

“It is necessary to propose to young people an anthropology of affectivity and sexuality capable of giving the right value to chastity, showing pedagogically the most authentic meaning for the growth of the person,” the synod fathers wrote.

The 55-page final report of the synod was published Oct. 27. The report is broken into three parts, each titled after parts of the New Testament account of Jesus meeting his disciples on the road to Emmaus: He walked with them; Their eyes were opened; They set out at once.

Each of the parts contain chapters and smaller sections within the chapters.

The document contains two paragraphs specifically on the issue of human sexuality, which is it says requires focusing on “empathetic listening, accompaniment and discernment, along the line indicated by the recent Magisterium.”

There are questions concerning the body and sexuality that “need a more in-depth anthropological, theological and pastoral elaboration,” the document continues, including the aspect of difference between “male and female identity and sexual inclinations,” but the synod father affirmed that it was “reductive” use sexual desire or orientation as a starting point for defining a person’s identity.

While condemning discrimination and violence on the basis of sex, it affirms that God loves every person and the Church loves every person, why underscoring the “determinative anthropological relevance” of the complimentary differences between men and women.

One main recommendation is for increased “accompaniment” to help people “read their own story; to adhere freely and responsibly to one’s baptismal call; to recognize the desire to belong and contribute to the life of the community.”

The report identifies this path as a way to help young people “increasingly integrate the sexual dimension into their personality.”

The two paragraphs entitled, “Sexuality: a clear, free, authentic word,” were opposed by 26 and 65 synod members respectively.

Another paragraph which drew some opposition from the synod fathers was entitled “the questions of young people.”

It begins by explaining that the Catholic Church has a rich tradition and understanding “on which to build and from which to propose its own teaching” on the subject of sexual morality. This tradition is said to include the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pope St. John Paul II’s catechesis on the theology of the body, Benedict XVI’s encyclical Deus caritas est, and Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia.

“But young people, even those who know and live this teaching, express the desire to receive a clear, human and empathetic word from the Church.”

The final document goes on to say that sexual morality is often a source of “misunderstanding and estrangement from the Church, as it is perceived as a space of judgment and condemnation.”

Young people value authenticity, it states, but are often disoriented by the many social changes taking place: “They express more particularly an explicit desire for discussion on issues related to the difference between male and female identity.”

On the question of difference between men and women, the document referenced the equality of men and women before God and said that “domination and discrimination based on sex offends human dignity,” forms of which even the Church needs to free itself from.

“The relationship between man and woman is then understood in terms of a vocation to live together in reciprocity and in dialogue, in communion and in fruitfulness in all areas of human experience: couple life, work, education and more,” it states.

The document also tackles the topic of the body from the angle of sexual immorality, such as promiscuity, sexual tourism, “fascination for risky behaviors,” digital pornography and the display of one’s body online.

“These phenomena, to which the new generations are exposed,” the document states, “constitute an obstacle for a serene maturation. They indicate unprecedented social dynamics, which influence personal experiences and choices, making them the territory of a sort of ideological colonization.”

It is within this context that the Church and Christian families are trying to communicate the gift of sexuality to young people, so that they can “live relationships according to the logic of the Gospel,” the report says.

However, the desire to teach this does not always translate into “an adequate affective and sexual education” beyond “sporadic and occasional speeches,” it continued, arguing that the Church should put more effort into this area.

Other topics included within the document are synodality, the issue of abuse, migration, the digital age, art, music and sport, violence and persecution, suffering, education, and seminary formation.

The synod’s final report also touches on the work of the Spirit in the life of the Church, vocation, the art of discerning, formation of the conscience, the role of young people in renewing the parish community, and the centrality of the liturgy in the life of the Church.


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11 Comments

  1. “It begins by explaining that the Catholic Church has a rich tradition and understanding “on which to build and from which to propose its own teaching” on the subject of sexual morality. This tradition is said to include the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pope St. John Paul II’s catechesis on the theology of the body, Benedict XVI’s encyclical Deus caritas est, and Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia.” This was passed? Dear Lord.

  2. Pope Francis and the McCarrick Synod are now pleading that Francis is part of the Church’s tradition !!

    No – that is not possible – because as f’s spokesman “Rev.” Rosica has declared: “Pope Francis rules as a person – free from the disordered attachments to scripture and tradition.”

    How utterly pathetic the counterfeit “spirit-of-Vatican-2” has become…

    And PF and all of his “team” soil themselves with now-daily homilies trying to gaslight the world like a gigantic brute “playing the victim” and saying that they are helpless against “the great accuser” Archbishop Viganò, a single soul that has dared speak the truth against the vast sodomy mafia running this so-called “pontificate.”

    Come Holy Spirit…cast Your Fire upon the earth.

  3. Amoris Laetitia as an add on subverts as it already has the Catholic Catechism, the moral theology of John Paul II, Benedict XVI with the same suggestive premises that led us down the path of widespread immorality and division. The bishops now have a serious obligation to challenge the Pontiff on the Dubia, his role in the Vigano allegations regarding McCarrick elevation and cover up of his.

  4. “Each paragraph passed by a comfortable margin.” It would be helpful to get further analysis on this outcome. Is the comfortable margin because the paragraph sections actually align with magisterial teaching? Is it because many bishops voted in favor because they just wanted to get through the process and get back home? Or is it because more bishops are giving in to the Church changing its teaching or way of teaching? The fact that no more than 65 bishops voted against the most contentious paragraph indicates that either it was not that contentious a paragraph or the number of bishops willing to contend are declining? Which is it? (If the latter, then the Church is really in trouble).

  5. I hate psychobabble, and this document seems to be teeming with it.

    “The document says the Church must find new ways of presenting its teaching on sexuality and continue to “accompany” and “listen to” people with same-sex attraction.”

    Oh, yes? Does the Church also need to “accompany” and “listen to” murderers, perjurers, thieves, pedophiles, the incestuous, etc.? There should be no difference.

    “One main recommendation is for increased “accompaniment” to help people “read their own story”” Oh, *barf*.

    ““But young people, even those who know and live this teaching, express the desire to receive a clear, human and empathetic word from the Church.””

    I would think those young people who are whining for an “empathetic word” from the Church to soothe their tender ickwe feewings would blush for shame when they consider, as they should, St. Pancras, St. Tarcisius, Saint Dominic Savio, Saint Maria Goretti, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Franciso and St. Jacinta of Fatima, St. Kizito, St. Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio, Blessed Chiara Badano, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, and so many more.

  6. Correction: Sorry, I meant “Oh, yes? Does the Church also need to “accompany” and “listen to” those tempted to be murderers, perjurers, thieves, pedophiles, the incestuous, etc.? There should be no difference.”

  7. In Paragraph 150 of the Final Document, there is the statement “In many Christian communities there are already paths of accompaniment in the faith of homosexual people: the Synod recommends encouraging such paths. These paths help people to understand their own [personal] history, to recognize the desire to belong and contribute to the life of the community, to discern the best ways to achieve it. In this way we help every young person, excluding no one, to integrate the sexual dimension more and more into the unity of their personality, growing in the quality of relationships and walking towards the gift of self.”

    Apart from the psychobabble toward the end, it should be noted that some of those “paths of accompaniment in the faith of homosexual people” serve as validation of the immoral, subvert authentic healing, create division within the Body of Christ, and provide only bridges to perdition. Let us not be deceived: While there are certainly good, holy paths of accompaniment provided by groups like Courage and En-Courage, there are others that are the work of wolves in sheeps’ clothing, agents of the world, the flesh, and the devil (e.g., New Ways Ministry, Dignity). Glaringly absent in Paragaph 150 is any call to repentance and conversion or the assurance that grace can heal and transform those who struggle with same sex attraction. Accompaniment is godly only if it leads to the salvation of souls. And what is all this talk of listening outside any context of obedience? What happened to the Church as Mater et Magistra? If the post-apostolic exhortation for this synod does not remedy these grave omissions, despite the concerns articulated by many bishops present, then we shall have to sadly conclude that Pope Francis is a failure as Supreme Pastor … or worse.

  8. “The document also tackles the topic of the body from the angle of sexual immorality, such as promiscuity, sexual tourism, ‘fascination for risky behaviors,’ digital pornography and the display of one’s body online.”

    But not homosexuality? Seriously? I take back my earlier comment.

  9. I wonder what would be said to the religious leaders of Sodom and Gomorrah. Oh, wait. They were nuked by heavenly fire. Except for the obedient ones. And even then one woman who wasn’t obedient turned into a pillar of salt. Hhmmm.

  10. Can someone please explain what it means to accompany someone..I am totally confused wha this means, we hear over and over…

    thanks

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  1. The Synod for Youth (2018) feminizes the young – Fr. Regis Scanlon

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