Above – Bishops discussion with the teens. Photo from Iceberg Media.

written by James Rodgers

“Speaking the truth with love” was one of the key points that Archbishop Costelloe drew upon during the Young Adults’ discussion forum at the recent Veritas Catholic Youth Festival.

There were three questions that participants were asked to discuss in small groups. The discussion comes as the Church prepares for the Plenary Council in 2020.

The first question was “Do you feel the Church listens to young people?” The general consensus among the groups was that it depended on the parish or the parish priest, but it helped to have youth involved in the parish council.

The Archbishop thought it was important that listening to young people was taken seriously and wasn’t just seen as a “token” item to tick off the agenda.

Archbishop Costelloe listening to the young people at the discussion forum. Photo from Iceberg Media.

The second question was more thought-provoking, “What do you think is the main challenge that the Church in Australia is currently facing and how can we address these issues?” Most of the responses were about how the Church addresses controversial issues, the increase in secularism and people leaving the Church.

The audience felt that Church leaders could be more swift and clear in responding to controversy, provide better education on Church teachings and that we should be more welcoming to those who have left the Church.

Archbishop Costelloe highlighted the need to “speak the truth, but with love.” He said there needs to be a balance between imposing your beliefs and not speaking out on controversial issues.

The last question was the most challenging, “What do you think God is asking of us in Australia today?” A whole host of suggestions were listed but there was a clear theme of everyone playing their part in both practising and spreading the faith.

In his concluding statement, the Archbishop took the opportunity to encourage the audience to enter their responses on the Plenary Council website.

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