In late March a week-long meeting held at the Vatican that involved young people from all over the world reached its end. The meeting was held as a precursor to the upcoming synod on “Young People, the Faith, and the Discernment of Vocation.” The intent was to inspire young people to give their honest criticisms and suggestions for moving the Church forward and becoming a better community.
In the document, released March 24, here are the youths’ views
“Today’s young people are longing for an authentic Church. We want to say, especially to the hierarchy of the Church, that they should be a transparent, welcoming, honest, inviting, communicative, accessible, joyful and interactive community” says the document.
“Young people look for a sense of self by seeking communities that are supportive, uplifting, authentic and accessible,” the document starts off. It continues saying: “The Church oftentimes appears as too severe and is often associated with excessive moralism . . . We need a Church that is welcoming and merciful, which appreciates its roots and patrimony and which loves everyone, even those who are not following the perceived standards.”
So— these 300 people with limited experience of the world who are to represent a global community desire authenticity from the Church, and yet ask that she become less severe and less focused on “excessive moralism?” In other words, they want the Church to become more adaptive and up-to-date (inauthentic?).
Authenticity presupposes staying true to the Teaching of the Church. As I have argued in these pages, modernists label this as being, in the words of the delegates, too severe.
The Catholic faith derives meaning of life from God. Reality and Truth exist apart from our senses and our individual existence because God exists outside of us and apart from us regardless of our existence. To be authentic requires a rejection of the influences and pressures of the material world and follow God, Christ Jesus, and His Church.
Modernism is a problematic philosophy to define. It’s has a long history, is complex, perplexing, and so tortuous that it’s tough to believe anyone in his or her right mind would desire such. Yet, the belief remains dangerous heretical, and to be defined as concisely as possible, as it has infested the world and produced such desires as the ones listed in “Young People, the Faith, and the Discernment of Vocation.” I have attempted no less.