Latin American Bishops say Young Want a Sincere, Welcoming Church

Latin American Bishops say Young Want a Sincere, Welcoming Church

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Bishops from Chile and Puerto Rico told the Synod of Bishops that the church must do more to help young people live out their faith and involve them in the life of the church rather than leaving them to find guidance elsewhere. Bishop Moises Atisha Contreras of San Marcos de Arica, Chile, told synod members Oct. 16 that young people have not stopped believing in God, and they continue to search for the transcendent “in other places and experiences. There are studies that indicate an increasing dissatisfaction among young people within the ecclesial institutional experience because it does not respond to their most profound seeking,” Bishop Atisha said. The 49-year-old Chilean bishop said young people need a sincere accompaniment that gives them a true experience of being loved as they are “without condition, without prejudices and freely. Bishop Atisha made several suggestions for how the church could respond to the needs of young men and women, especially their longing for a church that is “a place of refuge and care for the excluded.”