Fr. Arturo Sosa's intervention at the Synod

On Thursday, October 11, Father General spoke during the session of the Synod of Bishops on youth, faith and vocational discernment. His presentation focused on the theme of secularization. Fr. Sosa first noted that the discussion paper spoke only briefly about this important dimension of the contemporary world - and always in a negative way. He proposed a necessary exercise of discernment, as part of the confrontation of our ways of thinking with reality. This exercise can lead to an understanding of secularization as a sign of the times, a way for the Holy Spirit to guide our reflection and action today.

It is necessary to distinguish between different forms of secularization, some of which are obviously harmful to the universe of faith. For example, a militant struggle against any form of expression of faith in society or various forms of indifference towards what is related to faith.

However, perceiving the process of secularization as a sign of the times allows us to enter into a process of liberation. Liberation from an "automatic" Christianity, the fruit of a Christian society. Indeed, being a Christian in a secular world is rather the result of a well-informed choice, of discernment. Secular society also frees us from conceptions of religion related to tribal or national belonging; it encourages a spiritual experience that brings us closer to our brothers and sisters in humanity, whoever they may be.

Other advantages appear following a discernment on the "sign" that secularization brings. For instance, the importance of the proclamation of the faith, pastoral accompaniment throughout the human and Christian experience, the priority to be given to witnesses. Finally, the context of secularization encourages life in Christian communities of mutual support. Indeed, faith is not lived in isolation but in community, a community that guarantees accompaniment throughout the process of maturation of the faith.