Port Moresby (Agenzia Fides) - There is a problem of faith and spirituality among younger generations in Papua New Guinea: among young people prayer, faith are lacking, interest in the activities of the Church decreases and there is an "distorted understanding of personal freedom." This is what a document recently issued by Fr. Shanthi Chako PIME, Secretary of the Commission for Youth and laity within the Episcopal Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands says. As reported to Fides, the text was sent to Bishops, priests, religious, pastoral workers and launches an alarm for statistics on the Catholic Church in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, in particular concerning the decrease of the young and laity. On the other hand, one notes a growth of religious sects or a "religious indifference".
Central issue, the text says, is the transmission of faith to new generations in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, which meets several obstacles. A focus should be aimed, above all, to the weak transmission of faith in families: as Msg. Bernard Unabali notes, Bishop of Bougainville, in the past, the family ensured "adequate formation in prayer, spirituality and faith", but now this process has been weakened or stopped.
Therefore, considering that "young people are the future of the Church", the Episcopal Commission on Youth and Laity intends to provoke reflections and proposals to develop new pastoral care strategies and evangelization, especially for the younger generations and families. (PA) (14/05/2012)