This survey was obviously not written in English, because I have never been questioned about “the Social Media” before, but this does not detract from the many important questions it asks. For instance, one question, on a 1-10 scale was this, “How much confidence do you have in the following institutions?” The survey was interested the youths’ opinions on institutions such as: the government, the Catholic Church, the police, businesses, and political parties. Although inclusive in the sense that any young person could take this survey, I was surprised that the question about “gender” did not have a “prefer to not answer” option. Instead, it was limited to selecting either “male” or “female.”
Other than this seemingly exclusivist question, I was pleased with the survey’s interest in my understanding of “self.” Although this topic has most likely plagued people throughout the entirety of human history and “there is nothing new under the sun” (Eccl 1:9), I feel that my generation especially struggles with an understanding of “self,” and especially “self” in relation to the world and the institutions of the world. When I graduated from college with my undergraduate degree, one of my most influential professors gave me a book called Let your Life Speak by Parker J. Palmer, and this wonderful little book highlighted my lack of understanding of “self,” especially regarding discernment, so those questions struck close to my heart.
This survey is a wonderful opportunity for the youth of the world to influence a major synod in the Church. Once again, Pope Francis displays his Gaudium et Spes charism, constantly focusing first on the human person. I believe Francis would like the synod to reflect upon the real issues of young people, not just bishops’ impressions of them.
If you are between the ages of 16-29, please take 10 minutes out of your day to make your voice heard. If you are older than this, please encourage the youth in your area. Click here to find the survey.
[Editor’s Note: This survey is not only intended for Catholic teens and young adults. It is for all their peers and contemporaries, including members of other faiths, those who doubt God’s existence and even those who profess to be atheists. The deadline for answering the survey is December 31.]