Too often when Catholics try to talk to young people about vocational discernment, “it’s as if we were speaking Esperanto to them, because they don’t understand a thing,” Pope Francis said.
Bishops, pastors, religious and other adults must learn to speak young people’s language and must avoid exercising undue pressure on young men and women to enter a seminary or join a religious order, the pope said on 6th June at a gathering of people doing vocations work in Europe.
With the advent of new technologies and social media, he added, young people today know how to contact others, “but they do not communicate.”
“Communicating is perhaps the challenge that we have with young people,” the pope said. “Communication; communion; we must teach them that computers are good, yes; to have some form of contact, but this isn’t language. This is a ‘gaseous’ language. The true language is to communicate, to speak.”
Participants in the Congress for the Pastoral Care of Vocations in Europe were in Rome to study ways to implement the recommendations made during the Synod of Bishops on young people and vocational discernment in October.
Picture: Pilgrims pray during Pope Francis’ World Youth Day vigil at St John Paul II Field in Panama City on 26th January 2019. (CNS photo/Jaclyn Lippelmann, Catholic Standard).