Synod on the Youth, Final Document, text in ENGLISH

A colleague of mine ran this document through Google Translate. He says it looks good. I’ll leave that up to your judgment.  NOTE: This is only the first twelve pages. I have to run it through Google Translate to get it in English, which I’ll have to do after Mass today.



The synodal event we have lived
“On all I will pour out my Spirit; your sons and daughters will be your prophets
young men will have visions and your elders will have dreams “( Acts 2:17, see Gl 3:
1). It is the experience
that we have done in this Synod, walking together and listening to the voice
of the Spirit. He amazed us with the richness of his gifts, he filled us with his courage
and of his strength to bring hope to the world.
We walked together, with Peter’s successor, who confirmed us in faith and there
has reinvigorated the enthusiasm of the mission. Although coming from very different
contexts from
cultural and ecclesial point of view, we have felt a spiritual harmony from the
a desire for dialogue and true empathy. We worked together, sharing what
he cared more about us, communicating our concerns, not hiding our own
labors. Many interventions have generated in us evangelical emotion and compassion:
we felt only one body that suffers and rejoices. We want to share with everyone the
of grace that we have lived and transmit to our Churches and to the whole world the
joy of
The presence of young people marked a novelty: through them the Synod was
resounded in the
voice of a whole generation. Walking with them, pilgrims to the tomb of Peter, we

experienced that closeness creates the conditions for the Church to be a space for
dialogue and
testimony of fraternity that fascinates. The strength of this experience overcomes
every effort and
weakness. The Lord keeps repeating to us: Do not be afraid, I am with you.
The preparation process
We have benefited greatly from the contributions of the Episcopates, and from the
contribution of
pastors, religious, lay people, experts, educators and many others. From the beginning
the young people were
involved in the synodal process: the online questionnaire , many personal
contributions and above all
The pre-synodal meeting is its eloquent sign. Their contribution was essential, as
in the story of the loaves and fish: Jesus was able to perform the miracle thanks to the
availability of a boy who generously offered what he had (see Jn 6 : 8-11).
All the contributions have been summarized in the Instrumentum laboris , which has
constituted the solid
basis of the comparison during the weeks of the Assembly. Now the final
document collects the
result of this process and relaunches it towards the future: it expresses what the Synod
Fathers have
recognized, interpreted and chosen in the light of the Word of God.
The Final Document of the Synodal Assembly
It is important to clarify the relationship between the Instrumentum laboris and
the Final Document . The
first is the unitary and synthetic frame of reference emerged from the two years of
listening; The second one
it is the fruit of discernment achieved and gathers the generative thematic nuclei on
which the Fathers
Synodal have concentrated with particular intensity and passion. We therefore
recognize the
diversity and the complementarity of these two texts.
This document is offered to the Holy Father (see F RANCESCO , Episcopalis
communio , n.
18; Education , art. 35 §5) and also to the whole Church as the fruit of this
Synod. Since the
The synodal journey has not yet been completed and foresees an implementation
phase (see Episcopalis

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communio , n. 19-21), the final document will be a map to guide the next steps that
the Church is called to move.
* In this document the term “Synod” refers to the whole from time to time
synodal process in progress or the General Assembly held from 3 to 28 October 2018.
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Jesus walks with the disciples of Emmaus
We have recognized in the episode of the disciples of Emmaus (see Lk 24 : 13-35) a
paradigmatic text to understand the ecclesial mission in relation to the young
generations. This page expresses well what we have experienced at the Synod and
we would like that each of our particular Church could live in relation to the
young. Jesus
he walks with the two disciples who have not understood the meaning of his story and
they are
moving away from Jerusalem and the community. To stay in their company, travel the
road with them. He questions them and puts himself in patient listening to their
version of the facts for
help them recognize what they are experiencing. Then, with affection and energy, he
announces them
Word, leading them to interpret the events they lived in the light of the Scriptures.
Accept the invitation to stay with them at nightfall: enter their night.
In listening, their heart is heated and their mind is illuminated, in the fraction of their
eyes open. They themselves choose to resume their journey without delay
opposite direction, to return to the community, sharing the experience of meeting with
In continuity with the Instrumentum laboris , the Final Document is divided into three
are marked by this episode. The first part is entitled “He walked with them” ( Lk
24.15) and seeks to illuminate what the Synod Fathers recognized of the context in
which i
young people are inserted, highlighting their strengths and challenges. The second
part, “Yes

they opened their eyes “( Lk 24,31), is interpretative and provides some keys for
fundamental to the Synod theme. The third part, entitled “They left without delay”
( Lk
24.33), collects the choices for a spiritual, pastoral and missionary conversion.
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“And here, on that same day two of them were on their way to a village of
name Emmaus, about eleven kilometers from Jerusalem, and conversing with each
everything that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus
in person
he approached and walked with them ” ( Lk 24 : 13-15).
In this passage the evangelist photographs the need of the two wayfarers to find a
meaning for them
events that have lived. The attitude of Jesus that sets out is underlined
with them. The Risen Christ wants to work his way together with every young man,
accepting his expectations,
even if disappointed, and his hopes, even if inadequate. Jesus walks, listens, shares.
Listen and see with empathy
The value of listening
Listening is a meeting of freedom, which requires humility, patience, willingness to
understand, commitment to process the answers in a new way. Listening transforms
the heart of
those who live it, above all when one places oneself in an interior attitude of harmony
docility to the Spirit. It is therefore not just a collection of information, nor a strategy
reach a goal, but it is the form in which God himself relates to his people. God indeed
he sees the misery of his people and listens to their lamentations, lets themselves be
touched in the depths and descends
to free him (see Exodus 3,7-8). The Church then, through listening, enters the
movement of
God who, in the Son, comes to meet every human being.

Young people want to be heard
Young people are called to continuously make choices that guide theirs
existence; express the desire to be heard, recognized, accompanied. Lot of
they experiment how their voice is not considered interesting and useful in the social
ecclesial. In various contexts there is a lack of attention to their cry, in particular a
that of the poorest and most exploited, and also the lack of available and capable
to listen.
Listening to the Church
There are no lack of initiatives and consolidated experiences in the Church through
which i
young people can experience hospitality, listening and making their voices heard. The
recognizes, however, that the ecclesial community can not always make the attitude
that is evident
the Risen One had towards the disciples of Emmaus, when, before enlightening them
with the Word,
he asked them: “What are these talks that you are making among you along the way?”
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( Lk 24.17). Sometimes there is a tendency to provide ready-made answers and ready
recipes without them
let the youth questions emerge in their novelty and catch the provocation.
Listening makes it possible to exchange gifts in a context of empathy. It allows the
young people to donate their contribution to the community, helping them to grasp
new sensitivities and
ask unpublished questions. At the same time it sets the conditions for an
announcement of the Gospel
that truly reaches the heart, in an incisive and fruitful way.
Listening to qualified pastors and lay people
Listening is a qualifying moment in the ministry of pastors, and in the first place
place of the bishops, who however often find themselves burdened by many
commitments and are struggling to find one
adequate time for this indispensable service. Many have noted the shortage of people
expert and dedicated to accompaniment. To believe in the theological and pastoral
value of listening

it implies a rethinking to renew the ordinarily ordinary forms of ministry
presbyteral is expressed and a verification of its priorities. Furthermore, the Synod
recognizes the
need to prepare consecrated and lay men and women who are qualified for
the accompaniment of young people. The charism of listening that the Holy Spirit
gives rise to
community could also receive a form of institutional recognition for the service
The diversity of contexts and cultures
A plural world
10. The composition of the Synod itself made visible the presence and contribution of
different regions of the world, highlighting the beauty of being universal
Church. Even in one
the context of growing globalization, the Synod Fathers asked to highlight the
many differences between contexts and cultures, even within the same country. There
is one
plurality of youth worlds so that in some countries we tend to use the term
“Youth” in the plural. Furthermore, the age group considered by the present Synod
(16-29 years) does not
it represents a homogeneous whole, but it is composed of groups that live peculiar
All these differences have a profound impact on the concrete experience that young
people have
they live: they concern in fact the different phases of the evolutionary age, the forms
of religious experience,
the structure of the family and its importance in the transmission of faith, relationships
intergenerational – such as the role of the elderly and the respect due to them -,
modalities of participation in social life, attitude towards the future, the question
ecumenical and interreligious. The Synod recognizes and welcomes the richness of
the diversity of the
cultures and places itself at the service of the communion of the Spirit.
Changes in progress
11. Of particular relevance is the difference relative to the demographic dynamics
among the countries
high birth rate, in which young people represent a significant and growing share of
population, and those whose weight is being reduced. A further difference comes from
history, which makes different countries and continents of ancient Christian tradition,
whose culture is
bearer of a memory not to be lost, from countries and continents marked by others

religious traditions and in which Christianity is a minority and sometimes recent
presence. In others
territories then the Christian communities and young people who are part of them are
subject to persecution.

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Exclusion and marginalization
12. Then there are differences between countries and within each of them
social structure and the economic resources that separate, sometimes very clearly,
those who have access to an increasing amount of opportunities offered by
globalization, by those who live on the margins of society or in the rural world
they suffer the effects of forms of exclusion and waste. Various interventions have
reported the
need for the Church to take courageously on their side and participate in the
alternatives that remove exclusion and marginalization, strengthening reception,
accompaniment and integration. This is why it is necessary to become aware of it
of the indifference that marks the life of many Christians too, to overcome it with
the deepening of the social dimension of faith.
Men and women
13. We can not forget the difference between men and women with their peculiar
gifts, the
specific sensibilities and experiences of the world. This difference can be a sphere in
forms of domination, exclusion and discrimination arise from which all societies and
the Church
they need to get free themselves.
The Bible presents man and woman as equal partners before God (see Gn 5: 2): each
domination and discrimination based on sex offends human dignity. It presents
also the difference between the sexes as a mystery so much constitutive of the human
being as well
irreducible to stereotypes. The relationship between man and woman is then
understood in terms of one
vocation to live together in reciprocity and in dialogue, in communion and in
(see Gn 1,27-29; 2,21-25) in all areas of human experience: life of a couple, work,
education and others. God has entrusted the earth to their covenant.
Cultural colonization
14. Many Synodal Fathers from non-Western contexts point out that in their own
Countries globalization carries with it authentic forms of cultural colonization, which

eradicate young people from the cultural and religious affiliations from which they
come. It is necessary
a commitment of the Church to accompany them in this passage without losing the
more precious than their identity.
The interpretations of the secularization process appear different. While from some it
lived as a precious opportunity to purify oneself from a habitual religiosity or
based on ethnic and national identities, for others it represents an obstacle to the
transmission of the
wedding ring. In secular societies we also witness a rediscovery of God and
This constitutes for the Church an incentive to recover the importance of its own
of faith, of proclamation and of pastoral accompaniment.
A first look at the Church today
The educational commitment of the Church
15. There are few regions where young people perceive the Church as a presence
lively and engaging, which is also significant for their non-believing or other peers
religions. The educational institutions of the Church seek to welcome all young

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regardless of their religious choices, cultural background and personal situation,
family or social. In this way the Church gives a fundamental contribution to education
of young people in the most diverse parts of the world. This is achieved through
in schools of all levels and in vocational training centers, colleges and schools
universities, but also in youth centers and oratories; this commitment is also
implemented through
the reception of refugees and refugees and the varied commitment in the social
field. In all these
Presence the Church unites the work of education and human promotion with witness
the announcement of the Gospel. When inspired by intercultural and interreligious
dialogue, action
Church education is also appreciated by non-Christians as a form of authenticity
human promotion.
The activities of youth ministry
16. In the Synod journey the need to vocationally qualify the

youth ministry, considering all young people as recipients of pastoral care for
Together we also underlined the need to develop complete pastoral processes, which
from childhood they lead to adult life and enter the Christian community. Yes it is
noted that different parish groups, movements and youth associations realize a
effective process of accompaniment and formation of young people in their life of
World Youth Day – born from a prophetic intuition of St. John
Paul II, who remains a point of reference also for the young people of the third
millennium -, i
National and diocesan meetings play an important role in the lives of many young
people because
they offer a living experience of faith and communion, which helps them to face the
great challenges
of life and to take their place responsibly in society and in the community
ecclesial. These convocations may thus refer to pastoral accompaniment
ordinary of the individual communities, where the reception of the Gospel must be
deepened and
translated into life choices.
The weight of administrative management
17. Many Fathers have pointed out that the weight of administrative tasks absorbs so
excessive and sometimes suffocating the energies of many pastors; this is one of the
that make it difficult to meet young people and their accompaniment. To make more
evident the priority of pastoral and spiritual commitments, the Synodal Fathers insist
need to rethink the concrete ways of exercising the ministry.
The situation of the parishes
18. While remaining the first and main form of being Church in the territory, different
voices have indicated how the parish struggles to be a relevant place for young people
how it is necessary to rethink its missionary vocation. Its low significance in

urban spaces, the lack of dynamism of the proposals, together with the spatio-
temporal changes

lifestyles call for renewal. Even if there are various attempts at innovation,
often the river of youthful life flows at the margins of the community, without
meeting it.

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Initiation to the Christian life
19. Many notice how the paths of Christian initiation do not always succeed
introduce boys, teenagers and young people to the beauty of the experience of
faith. When the
community is constituted as a place of communion and as a true family of the children
of God,
expresses a generative force that transmits faith; where instead it yields to the logic of
delegation and bureaucratic organization prevails; Christian initiation is
misunderstood as one
course of religious instruction which usually ends with the sacrament of
Confirmation. IS
It is therefore urgent to rethink the approach of catechesis and the link between
family and community of faith, relying on personal accompaniment processes.
The formation of seminarians and consecrated persons
20. Seminars and training houses are places of great importance in which young
called to the priesthood and to the consecrated life they deepen their own vocational
choice and
they mature in following. Sometimes these environments do not take proper account
of them
previous experience of the candidates, underestimating their importance. This blocks
of the person and risks inducing formal assumptions, rather than development
of the gifts of God and the profound conversion of the heart.
The news of the digital environment
A pervasive reality
21. The digital environment characterizes the contemporary world. Large sections of
they are immersed in an ordinary and continuous way. It is no longer just about
communication tools, but to live in a widely digitized culture that has
very deep impacts on the notion of time and space, on the perception of oneself, of
others and
of the world, on the way to communicate, to learn, to inform oneself, to enter into a
relationship with
the others. An approach to reality that tends to privilege the image compared to
listening and listening to

reading influences the way of learning and the development of the critical sense. It is
now clear that
“The digital environment is not a parallel or purely virtual world, but it is part of
of many people, especially the youngest “(B ENEDIC XVI, Message for
the XLVII World Communications Day ).
The network of opportunities
22. Web and social networks are a place where young people spend a lot of time and
they meet easily, even if not all of them have equal access, particularly in
some regions of the world. They nevertheless constitute an extraordinary opportunity
dialogue, meeting and exchange between people, as well as access to information and
knowledge. Moreover, the digital one is a context of socio-political participation and
active citizenship, and can facilitate the circulation of independent information
capable of
effectively protect the most vulnerable people by revealing violations of their
rights. In

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many web countries and social networks now represent an indispensable place to
and involving young people, including in pastoral initiatives and activities.
The dark side of the network
23. The digital environment is also a territory of solitude, manipulation, exploitation
violence, up to the extreme case of the dark web . Digital media can expose you to the
risk of
dependence, isolation and progressive loss of contact with the concrete reality,
hindering the development of authentic interpersonal relationships. New forms of
violence yes
spread through social media , such as cyberbullying; the web is also a channel of
dissemination of pornography and exploitation of persons for sexual purposes or
through the
24. Finally, gigantic economic interests, capable of realizing, operate in the digital
forms of control as thin as it is invasive, creating mechanisms of manipulation of the
consciences and the democratic process. The operation of many platforms often ends

to encourage the meeting between people who think the same way, hindering
among the differences. These closed circuits facilitate the dissemination of false
information and news,
fomenting prejudices and hatred. The proliferation of fake news is the expression of a
that has lost the sense of truth and bends the facts to particular interests. The
reputation of the
people are jeopardized through online summary processes . The phenomenon also
the Church and its pastors.
Migrants as a paradigm of our time
A pluriform phenomenon
25. Migration phenomena represent a structural and non-structural phenomenon
a transitory emergency. Migrations can take place within the same country
or between different countries. The Church’s concern concerns in particular those who
they flee from war, violence, political or religious persecution, from disasters
natural ones due to climate change and extreme poverty: many of them are
Young people. In general, they are looking for opportunities for themselves and their
families. They dream
a better future and wish to create the conditions for it to be realized.
Many Synod Fathers stressed that migrants are a “paradigm” capable of
enlighten our time and especially the youthful condition, and remind us of it
original condition of the faith, or that of being “foreigners and pilgrims on earth”
( Heb
Violence and vulnerability
26. Other migrants start attracted by Western culture, sometimes nurturing
unrealistic that expose them to heavy disappointments. Unscrupulous traffickers, often
linked to
drug and arms cartels, exploit the weakness of migrants, who along their own
path too often encounter violence, trafficking, psychological and even physical abuse,
unspeakable suffering. The particular vulnerability of non-minor migrants should be
pointed out
accompanied, and the situation of those who are forced to spend many years in the
refugees or who remain stuck in transit countries for a long time, without being able to

course of studies or expressing their talents. In some countries of arrival, migratory

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they raise alarm and fear, often fomented and exploited for political purposes. One
thus spreads
xenophobic mentality, of closing and of refolding on oneself, to which it is necessary
to react with
Stories of separation and meeting
27. Young people who migrate experience separation from their context of origin and
often also a cultural and religious eradication. The rift also affects the communities of
origin, which lose the most vigorous and resourceful elements, and families, in
when one or both parents migrate, leaving their children in their country of origin. The
Church has a
important role as a reference for the young people of these broken families. But those
of the gods
migrants are also stories of encounter between people and between cultures: for
communities and societies in
they are an opportunity for enrichment and integral human development of all. The
welcoming initiatives that refer to the Church have an important role to play
this point of view, and can revitalize the communities capable of realizing them.
The prophetic role of the Church
28. Thanks to the different origins of the Fathers, with regard to the theme of
migrants, the Synod has
seen the meeting of many perspectives, in particular between countries of departure
and countries of arrival.
Furthermore, the alarm cry of those Churches whose members are forced to flee has
from war and persecution and who see in these forced migrations a threat to
their very existence. Just the fact of including all these different within
perspectives puts the Church in a position to exercise a prophetic role towards the
society on the theme of migration.
Recognize and react to all types of abuse
Doing truth and asking for forgiveness
29. The different types of abuse made by some bishops, priests, religious and laity
in those who are victims, including many young people, suffering that can last all

life and to which no repentance can remedy. This phenomenon is widespread in
it also touches the Church and represents a serious obstacle to its mission. The Synod
reaffirms the
firm commitment to the adoption of rigorous prevention measures that prevent it
to repeat itself, starting from the selection and training of those to whom tasks will be
responsibility and education.
Go to the root
30. There are different types of abuse: power, economic, conscience, sexual. It is
evident is the task of eradicating the forms of exercise of authority on which they are
grafted and of
to counteract the lack of responsibility and transparency with which many cases have
been managed. The
desire for domination, lack of dialogue and transparency, forms of double life, the
spiritual emptiness, as well as psychological fragilities, are the terrain on which
corruption flourishes.
Clericalism, in particular, “arises from an elitist and excluding vision of vocation,
which interprets the ministry received as a power to be exercised rather than as a
free and generous service to offer; and this leads to the belief that it belongs to a group
who has all the answers and no longer needs to listen and learn anything or pretend
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to listen “(F RANCESCO , Address to the I General Congregation of the XV Assembly
General of the Synod of Bishops , 3 October 2018).
Gratitude and encouragement
31. The Synod expresses gratitude to those who have the courage to denounce evil
suffered: help the Church to become aware of what happened and the need to react
with decision. He also appreciates and encourages the sincere commitment of
countless lay and lay people,
priests, consecrated persons, consecrated persons and bishops who every day are spent
with honesty and
dedication to the service of young people. Their work is a forest that grows without
making noise.
Many of the young people present at the Synod also expressed gratitude for those
from whom
the great need for reference figures was accompanied and reiterated.

The Lord Jesus, who never abandons his Church, offers her the strength and the tools
for a
new path. Confirming the line of timely “necessary actions and sanctions”
(F RANCESCO , Letter to the People of God , 20 August 2018, n.2 ) and aware that the
mercy demands justice, the Synod recognizes that addressing the issue of abuse in
all its aspects, even with the precious help of young people, can really be an
for a reform of epochal scope.




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