Father General to the General Council of the Union of Superiors General

Father General was invited by the Union of Major Superiors to share his analysis and reflections following his participation in the Synod on Youth (October 2018). He did so at the General Council of the organization held in Rome from November 21 to 23.

Here are some excerpts from the second part of his address, which highlights the signs of the times that were identified during the Synod and that he thought were significant. After mentioning that young people and their contexts of life must be understood as a theological space from which we can listen to the Holy Spirit, Fr. Arturo Sosa mentioned, as signs, secular society and the anthropological transformation that flows from the digital world. He  then addesssed two subjects that Jesuits have been interested in for years, that of migration and that of the recognition of the place of young people and women in the Church.

Migrations as a global, massive and complex phenomenon. Hundreds of millions of human beings are on the road in a globalizing world. The majority of them are forced to do so by the absence of dignified living conditions in their places of origin, either by structural injustice or by the violence it generates. The number of displaced persons and refugees is growing throughout the world. The waves of human beings who embark on the adventure of seeking other horizons are also increasing. The vast majority are young people.

This new era of humanity also opens opportunities for positive human mobility in which global exchange enriches one another. In a world reconciled with social justice and the environment, which values cultural diversity and religious freedom, migration can become a source of enrichment and creativity.”

The recognition of young people and women as subjects of ecclesial communities. Young people and women are part of the Church, who doubts that? The sign is their full incorporation into the pastoral direction of the Church since there is also no doubt of the secondary role they play, at the moment, in the structure of pastoral responsibility of the community.

Reaching this recognition implies deepening the historical and social roots of the role played by young people and women in human societies and in the Church. It requires a complex rather than a simplistic understanding of historical and social processes. At the same time, it demands creativity and openness to the Spirit in order to find the way to incorporate young people and women into the pastoral direction of a Church trying to adapt to the unfinished model of Vatican II.”

In conclusion, Fr. Sosa proposes courses of action that religious men and women can follow to ensure that the Synod bear fruit in the medium and long term. The last one he underscored was:

"The effective commitment to social transformation as a witness to the proclamation of the possibility of the Kingdom of Justice, Peace and Love.”

[To read the full text, in Spanish, click here.]