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Catholic Culture Solidarity

The Synod office and the social media: a wrongheaded approach

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Feb 14, 2018

Plunging headlong into the world of social media, in a bid to generate interest among the world’s young Catholics (who thus far have been slow to respond), the office of the Synod of Bishops offers a monthly question for discussion. This month’s offering:

What could #politicsAndSociety do for young people?

That’s an interesting question, certainly.* But is it a question that the Synod should address? Or even a question that should be addressed to young Catholics, to prompt reflections on the purpose of the Synod?

The theme for the 15th ordinary assembly of the Synod is “Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.” The key question for discussion, it would seem, is not what politics or society can do for young people, but what the Church can do for young people. Or better still, what young people can do for the Church.

*- But not interesting enough, apparently, to draw much response from the millions of young Catholics in the world. If you visit the Twitter account of the Synod office you’ll find only a handful of brief comments from young people. You will, however, find dozens of photos of Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the secretary-general of the Synod. Which may tell you something about both the thinking that lies behind this social-media campaign and its likely effectiveness.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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