Answers to both questionnaires will form the basis for the eventual drafting of the "Instrumentum Laboris," or "working document" of the 2018 synod, which Baldisseri said ought to be ready at the beginning of next year.
"Young People in Today's World"
The preparatory document defines youth as being individuals 16-29 years old, but also takes into account that the definition of "young" is different depending on where you're from.
While the text clarifies that in no way does it provide a complete reading of the situation of youth today, it does say that in order to get an accurate perspective, certain factors need to be taken into consideration, such as how countries with high birth-rates where young people make up the majority of the population differ from those where population is diminishing.
Also important to keep in mind is the history that separates countries or continents where Christianity is an ancient part of their tradition and culture, versus others where "Christianity is the minority and oftentimes only recently present."
Special attention is also given to the growing differences related to gender, "masculine and feminine." While gender on one hand "determines different perceptions of reality," on the other it is often the basis "of various forms of domination, exclusion and discrimination, all of which societies need to overcome."
The text also covers several difficulties youth can face, including: unemployment, poverty, a lack of education, gang and drug violence, child soldiers, various forms of slavery and exploitation, globalization, environmental degradation as well as the differing causes of the increased number of migrants and refugees.
It also touches on the benefits and dangers of technology and the problem of child brides and women forced to marry against their will, noting that obstacles surrounding work and education specifically are "even more difficult for young women to overcome."
Multiculturalism is another point emphasized, since societies are increasingly more intercultural and interreligious. From the faith perspective, the document says, "the situation is seen as a sign of our times, requiring greater listening, respect and dialogue."
The document also points out that youth need both personal and institutional points of reference "who are able to express empathy and offer them support, encouragement and help in recognizing their limits, but without making them feel they are being judged."
However, it also notes that youth can be "cautious by nature" when it comes to those outside their realm of relationships, leading them to "nourish mistrust, indifference or anger toward institutions," including the Church.
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The skills of youth are needed in order to overcome these challenges, the document says, explaining that "it is significant that young people - often withdrawn into a stereotype of passivity and inexperience - propose and practice alternatives which show how the world or the Church could be."
"If society or the Christian community want to make something new happen again, they have to leave room for new people to take action."
"Faith, Discernment and Vocation"
The second section of the text begins by saying that to respond to the challenges faced by today's youth, "the Church, beginning with her Pastors, is called to make a self- examination and to rediscover her vocation of caring for others."
It offered different ideas for accompanying youth, "beginning with the faith and listening to the tradition of the Church." The ultimate goal is to support youth in their vocational discernment and in making "fundamental choices in life, starting from an awareness that some of these choices are permanent."
It then posed the question: "how does a person live the good news of the Gospel and respond to the call which the Lord addresses to all those he encounters, whether through marriage, the ordained ministry or the consecrated life? Where can a person's talents be put to good use: a professional life, volunteer work, service to the needy or involvement in civil and political life?"