What Is This About?
The Synod of Bishops advises the Pope. The Synod will be attended by Bishops elected by the national and regional Episcopal Conferences. From 3 to 28 October 2018 the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will meet on the theme “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.”
The Road to The Synod
In a letter to all young people—by which Pope Francis means the 16 to 29 year olds—, he wrote that the Synod expressed his will to put them in the “centre of interest”. The preparatory document substantiating the themes of the Synod appeared simultaneously with the letter. The chapters are called “Young People in Today’s World,” “Faith, Discernment, Vocation” and “Pastoral Activity.” Moreover, a questionnaire is attached to the letter. Participation was possible until the end of December 2017.
Young people from all over the world, Catholic and non-Catholic, were invited to a pre-synod from 19 to 24 March 2018. Pope Francis wanted to hear what young people think about life and faith. BDKJ Federal Chairman Thomas Andonie was present as one of two young adults nominated by the German Bishops’ Conference.
While the delegates discussed at the pre-synod in Rome, young people could express their opinions online. All young people between the ages of 16 and 29 were invited. The 300 questions asked were the same as those discussed at the Pre-Synod in Rome. Participation was possible in this Facebook group, which will remain open for information until the Youth Synod in October.
In June 2017, the BDKJ Main Committee decided on a basic document on the Youth Synod called “Making participation possible—young people’s expectations of their church.”
The Voice of the BDKJ
So far, several BDKJ press releases on the Youth Synod have been published:
- "Only Those Who Understand What’s Moving Youth Can Move Them" (Press release on the announcement of the Youth Synod, 6 October 2016 [German])
- "Listening to Youth" (Press release on the publication of the preparatory document, 13 January 2017 [German])
- "Youth—Faith—Church: Youth Pastoral Challenges and the Synod of Bishops in Rome 2018" (Statement by Pastor Dirk Bingener, 8 March 2017 [German])
- "Pope Francis Has Questions for the Youth" (Press release on the publication of the online survey in five languages, 14 June 2017 [German])
- "Making Participation Possible" (Press release on the opinion of the BDKJ, 6 July 2017 [German])
- "Meet the Pope in the Pub" (Press release on the BDKJ postcard campaign for the Youth Synod, 10 October 2017 [German])
- "In Rome for You" (Press release on the nomination of Thomas Andonie for the Pre-Synod by the German Bishops’ Conference, February 2, 2018 [German])
- "Excited about the exchange at the Pre-Synod" (Statement by Thomas Andonie, February 20, 2018 [German])
- "Friction Generates Heat" (Press release on the event with Bishop Oster in Bonn, 25 February 2018 [German])
- "Young People Speak for Themselves" (Press release at the end of the Pre-Synod, 26 March 2018 [German])
- "BDKJ on the German Translation of the Final Document from the Pre-Synodal Meeting" (Press Release, 17 April 2018 [German])
- "It Must Be a Synod of Youth!" (Press release, 19 June 2018 [German])
- "BDKJ Hearing with Auxiliary Bishop Wübbe" (Press Release, August 13, 2018 [German])
- Joint Statement: With One Voice: For a Church of Youth [German]
- Statement by Thomas Andonie to the Pope and the bishops [German]
- Statement by Thomas Andonie [English]
- Discorso di Thomas Andonie [Italian]
- Statement by Cardinal Reinhard Marx about Instrumentum laboris [German]
- Statement by Julia Braband (Lutheran World Federation) [German]
- Statement by Bichop Dr. Felix Genn [German]
- Statement by Bishop Dr. Stefan Oster [German]
- BDKJ-Federal Board hands over tousands of postcards to Pope Francis [German]
- Preparatory document on the Vatican website
- Pope Francis’ letter to young people on the Vatican website
- Vatican webpage on the pre-synod
- The Youth Synod also deals with youth pastoral issues. With the "Theology of Associations" [German] published in spring 2016, the BDKJ commented on the discussion on how associations contribute to the Church’s mission.
- On 3 November 2017, the German Bishops’ Conference (DBK) published the DBK’s answers to the Roman Questionnaire on the Youth Synod. It highlights the BDKJ “72 hours” action as an example of youth pastoral action by youth associations in Germany. Many further topics and requests of the youth federations are called in the answer. The press release is available here [German].
- Press release of the German Bishops’ Conference on the publication of the online survey in Germanhttps://www.dbk.de/nc/presse/aktuelles/meldung/abschlussdokument-des-vorbereitungstreffens-der-bischofssynode-in-deutscher-sprache-veroeffentlicht/detail/
- Final document of the preparatory meeting of the Synod of Bishops in German language [German]
- The BDKJ also intensively accompanied the Synod on Marriage and the Family. Click here for the dossier.