By Christina Hermoso
Two Filipino youth will serve as representatives of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopa Commission on Youth (CBCP-ECY) at the pre-Synod of Bishops on the Family gathering in Rome, Italy on March 19-24.
Gerald Rey Opiya of Palo, Leyte, and Alyana Therese Pangilinan of Bacolod will join around 300 youth representatives from different countries in the pre-synod meet with Pope Francis which seeks to assess the current situation and involvement of the youth in terms of their faith as well as socially relevant issues, said Father Cunegundo Garganta, executive secretary of the CBCP-ECY.
The gathering also serves as a prelude to the actual Synod of Bishops on the Family in October.
“The pre-synod is one way of understanding the young people of today and their situation in the community and in the Church. We can say that our Filipino youth are still religious and practicing the faith,” Garganta said over Radio Veritas.
The priest said the Filipino representatives will serve as the voice of the Filipino youth in Rome as they share the current situation of the young generation in the country including the problems that they face these modern times such as the challenges of being millennials as well as moral issues.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said, the Holy Father called for the pre-synod to be able to listen to the voices of the youth, to listen to their experiences and difficulties in their respective countries.
“It is best that the youth voice out their own sentiments and experiences in order for them to actively help in shaping the mission of the Church and the society they live in. This will be an interesting synod where Pope Francis will listen to the young,” Tagle said.
“From the perspective of the Church, the Filipino youth of today are still very spiritual and religious. Thanks to popular devotion and piety, the youth actively participate in pilgrimages and join religious processions. They remain proud of their faith,” Tagle stressed.
Held every three years, the Synod of Bishops was established by Pope Paul VI on September 15, 1965 “to foster the unity and cooperation of bishops around the world with the Holy See.”