Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster

Cardinal reflects on 'rich exchange' between bishops and young people

At the end of the third week of the Synod on Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment, Cardinal Vincent reflects on ‘the richness of the experience’ in this latest podcast.

Throughout this synod with young people and bishops talking together, ‘there has been a rich exchange of views and emotions, passion for the faith, anxiety about the world, determination, witness and great courage.

‘At the heart of the work of the synod is the recognition that our life as Christians is centred on and depends on our relationship with Jesus. He is the centre of everything. Young people show us their enthusiasm and awaken in me and others our enthusiasm for the Lord. And therefore, we have to show him, we have to proclaim his presence. They call it the kerygma, the first announcing.’

Of the need to get to know the Lord more deeply, he adds: ‘There’s so much been said about enabling and helping youngsters in their spiritual lives, in this life of getting to know Jesus through prayer, through the reading of the Gospel, through the service of the poor, through the sacraments. And then, they need to add knowledge, so there’s a task of catechesis as well, which needs to be centred on the person of Christ.’

This, he says, must take place ‘the community of the Church. As we know Jesus he introduces us to his Father and to the Holy Spirit, and it is the call of the Father and the work of the Holy Spirit which makes the Church.’

Similarly, ‘there’s no way in which a person can get to know Christ and follow him fully on his own; it must be within the company of the Church.’

Knowing Jesus means ‘that we can share the mission which he has received from the Father and on which he sends us out. There are so many facets to that mission, like one of those balls in the middle of a dance floor that reflects light in so many different directions. It’s to do with the cause of justice in the world. It’s to do with the care of the environment. It’s to do with looking at the effects of poverty. It’s to do with trying to respond to those who are migrants, those who are victims of human trafficking. It’s to do with the support of our poorer neighbours. It’s all of those things in which the hands and the words and the care of Christ is expressed through us in the world.’

The Cardinal explains that a new document is being prepared and will be given to the synod delegates on Tuesday (23rd Oct). ‘Then we’ll have a few days to reflect on that and offer our comments and then by the end of next week there will be a final document for us to consider and, I believe, to give to Pope Francis as the fruit of this synod.’

‘What a three weeks it has been. It’s been tiring but exhilarating, at times just hard going, at other times great fun.’


Photo: Mazur/

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