Three Traits Young People Crave from the Church

Millennial Catholic Michael Bayer has a new article in Catholic News Service’s “In Light of Faith” series:

— Authenticity: Young people have access to more information than our ancestors dreamed possible. We are inundated by ceaseless digital interactions and immersed in a sea of competing ideas….

And we hunger for a church that can name explicitly these precise, practical things we’re experiencing, while guiding us through a spiritual discernment of what it all means.

— Charity: As is being ubiquitously discussed, our civilization is descending into a toxic polarization and reflexive tribalism that makes vulnerable, loving encounters a rarity rather than the norm….

Bullying follows us around to a degree unimaginable to our parents, with peers able to harass others in the middle of the night from the safety of anonymous online accounts.

At the same time, we show up to church, craving to hear that, contrary to what this cacophony of critical voices insists, we are lovable, and we are loved. But far too often the message that’s broadcast is a list of sins we had better be avoiding, lest we condemn ourselves to eternal damnation….

— Humility: We want to experience a church that is human as well as divine. We want to hear leaders candidly confess the immeasurable damage that has been inflicted on the faithful as part of the clergy abuse scandal and the immense hurt pervasively experienced by LGBT persons in the church. We want youth ministers who aren’t afraid to say, “I don’t know,” and bishops who can acknowledge, “We got that one wrong.”

You can read the full article here.