I was deeply moved by the letter of this young Italian girl, Sara Mansardo, to the Bishops on the occasion of the Synod on Youth. It was highlighted in the Moynihan Letters. It speaks of the hunger of young people – of all people – for the meat of sound doctrine, the doctrine that gives life. Woe to those leaders who would water down the Gospel, who act as if the Blood of Christ has gone anemic! I will let this stand on its own, with only this link to the letter in its original Italian.-CJ
“Dear Bishops, do not be fooled …
“At the outset of the Synod, the whispers of the media also began and, looking at what the newspapers report, this Synod on Young People will speak above all of migrants, LGBT and of course premarital sex, because chastity is said to be the main reason young people move away from the Church.
“But we young people deserve much more.
“We are no longer content to hear homilies full of politics, of the common good, of current events, of ecology.
“And above all we are not attracted by shortcuts on premarital chastity: there is already a whole world that gives us permission to live our sexuality in any way.
“We in the Church expect credible and persuasive reasons to understand and choose a different sexuality, which knows how to wait, how to choose, how to bear fruit.
“We do not distance ourselves from the Church because it prevents us from having sex before marriage…
“We move away because in the Church we find nothing different from what they tell us outside, nothing more exciting, nothing worth living and dying for.
“Instead, we re-approach the Church when someone explains to us why he chose chastity (and it is never ‘because the Church says so’).
“We draw closer when someone makes us open our eyes on our lives, when someone tells us words that burn like salt on the wounds, but that are words alive, true, strong.
“We draw closer when someone gives us a testimony of lived and true faith.
“We draw closer when someone shows that he loves us and wants our good, helping us grow as people from every point of view, even showing us the burden that makes us sad and dissatisfied.
“We draw closer when we see courageous people, who make extreme choices, who know what they want, who experience sexuality as a gift and a responsibility.
“We draw closer when someone tells us that making love is an experience of paradise, and it should be done well.
“Not to possess someone else, not to make the other happy, not for fun, not for habit.
“And precisely for this reason, he choose to become one flesh with the only person who he has really chosen once and for all, for eternity.
“Because young people know that love is forever, otherwise it is not love, it is something similar, a beautiful friendship, or a surrogate.
“Dear bishops, do not be fooled by the headlines.
“Do not be conditioned by what the world would want from you, but dare.
“Dare to be fathers.
“Have the courage to be careful and merciful guides, have the courage to say great things, that challenge us, that reveal the mystery to us, that speak to us about the infinite.
“Dare to ask us, young married couples, young engaged couples, young priests, young consecrated persons, young people in search.
“Have the courage and the patience to ask us the reason for our choices, to ask us the “for Whom” we live, and then, to the young people who come to you, tell us that it is possible to be happy, live fully, make great choices, go against the current.
“Have the courage to form future priests and future spouses aware of what they choose, in love with Christ and the Gospel, ready to give testimony to those distant young people, wary, undecided.
“Who will not approach a Church in line with the world.
“They will approach a beautiful and holy Church, which lives what it believes and has the courage to show it.”