Brazilian bishop reiterates importance of reaching out to youth

.- The secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of Brazil, Bishop Odilo Pedro Scherer, said this week the evangelization of young people “is one of the most important aspects of the Church’s missionary activity, since it involves handing on to the new generations the legacy of faith.”

In an interview with the FIDES news agency, Bishop Odilo said the issue of reaching out to the youth was discussed at the bishops’ recent general assembly and that they are aware they must reach a better understanding of the youth of today in order to identify various ways of proclaiming the Gospel to them.  

More important than finding the ideal path is to “approach young people with love, help them to have a personal encounter with Jesus Christ,” Bishop Odilo said, because “Youth is synonymous with hope and future.”

He also revealed that the Brazilian bishops would soon issue a pastoral letter on the evangelization of youth to encourage the whole Church to reflect on the question and make suggestions, taking into consideration present day society, its challenges and young people.  “Globalization, IT and cultural changes,” Bishop Odilo said, “mean problems and dangers but also new opportunities. We must put these new means to good use”.   In the work of evangelisation,” he added, “it is necessary to keep in mind that many university students are attracted to science and technology and they have the right to be taught the fundamentals of faith so they realise there is no opposition between faith and reason”.

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