41. Although many young people are happy to see a Church that is humble yet confident in her gifts and capable of offering fair and fraternal criticism, others want a Church that listens more, that does more than simply condemn the world.
Is the Church fair in criticism? Many young people I know–most, really–don’t care if a person or institution disagrees with them. But they can sniff out unfairness. Let’s admit it: institutions ranging from Rome to parents are known for being unfair at times.
Single-issue involvement is simply not credible, even to older adults:
They do not want to see a Church that is silent and afraid to speak, but neither one that is always battling obsessively over two or three issues. To be credible to young people, there are times when she needs to regain her humility and simply listen, recognizing that what others have to say can provide some light to help her better understand the Gospel.
Humble, yet confident: what does that look like? Vatican II would suggest it is possible to “possess” the truth, yet not fully comprehend it. When Catholics, even bishops, cannot put our stance into our own words, we might be rightly judged as having no grasp on the principle.
A Church always on the defensive, which loses her humility and stops listening to others, which leaves no room for questions, loses her youth and turns into a museum. How, then, will she be able to respond to the dreams of young people? Even if she possesses the truth of the Gospel, this does not mean that she has completely understood it; rather, she is called to keep growing in her grasp of that inexhaustible treasure.[cf Dei Verbum, 8]
Remember to check Pope Francis’ Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on this link at the Vatican site.
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