AFRICA/CONGO - “May our priests accompany our youth on their path”, urge the Bishops following plenary assembly
Brazzaville (Agenzia Fides) - “Congolese youth and Christian identity ”, was the theme of the 47th Plenary Assembly of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Congo held 26 November to 2 December at the Inter-diocesan Centre Œuvres (CIO), in Brazzaville.
The theme recalls the XV General Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, “Youth, Faith and Vocation Discernment ”, held in Rome in October, says the message issued at the end of the Congolese Bishops’ plenary.
“Several reasons led us to choose this theme” says the final message, sent to Fides. “”From the demographic point of view the population is young 60 - 70% of the population consists of young people. From the socio-cultural point of view, although youth forms the most numerous social group, it is paradoxically emarginated, rendered vulnerable and sacrificed, victim of the evils in our society : unemployment, delinquency, banditry , scorn, isolation, exclusion”.
From the religious point of view the Bishops are concerned that “young people are disorientate by ideologies diffused by various religious and esoteric movements which manipulate, misdirect and fanaticise youth to pursue undeclared interests. In this situation many are perplexed, even disturbed questioning their faith and their Christian identity”.
After calling on all sides to act responsibly (“the issue of youth concerns the whole of society. We all without exception must work for our young people”), the Bishops confirm the commitment of the Catholic Church to educate young people to Christian values. In particular they call on priests to act as leaders for the youth . “My dear priests, in your pastoral ministry , never forget your young people, take care of them. They need you, your advice and support in order to mature and to orient themselves towards God. In their youth, despite the limits of their age, young people are capable of many things”. “Be models in daily life and young people will follow your example” they conclude. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 4/12/2018)