Recently, in what is considered a large parish, I asked about which activities were being organised for young people. Surprisingly the answer was practically none. Now in this parish, the population growth is incredible. Its truly increasing by leaps and bounds. The number of young people is immense…yet there were no activities in the parish, targeting such tender age. If one were to attend mass in this parish, unsurprisingly there are only people with silver hair!! Obviously the young people do go out and have fun…but there is no one to guide them. They do not come to church. Consequently there is no such uniting factor such as the church, in today’s society.

As a parent I know about the headaches of summer….the young people do not know how to spend their free time. There is the temptation of online games for boys and the watching of films or TV series for girls..not just for a few hours but for endless days. In some countries, there are summer camps which are a blessing. Yet there is no direct reference to their spiritual growth.

Besides, just walking with some young people and listening to their conversations, their kind of language..one sees that most of them, although they still yearn for a good quality life, the discourse of God and their personal spiritual growth is far away or maybe none at all.

Some years ago, we had the introduction of divorce and the resultant discussion. Practically in all countries (including Catholic Malta!!) it has been introduced with large majorities. Now, in some countries, the issue of gay marriage has surfaced and people have shown that they do care about such people and they do not want any discrimination. Again they have voted with large majorities. The issue of the contraceptives is considered to be buried once for all as the people are using them left, right and centre, although surprisingly there has been no change from Pope Francis. This brings a fundamental question: what about the church? Does it question it’s own teachings? Are ‘we right’ and them ‘wrong?’ The pope Francis himself said: Who am I to judge a gay person?

The friars in this parish are all cosy in their rooms happy of performing the miracle of mass everyday. Yet, do they realise that in most western countries, the people need to be evangelised about the basic things of religion? Just ask some basic questions (which we were supposed to learn by heart in our age), and you’ll be surprised with the quality of answers received! Do they believe that if we don’t care about our young people, there will be no church in the future?

This brings me to one fundamental choice: let married people become priests and they will change the church as they already have experience with most the daily conflicts, trials, debates and faith issues they face in their family. They already have the knack of approaching and directing young people. Let’s make use of them so that the church can benefit from such expertise.

All readers are welcome to continue the debate.

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