Do not take young people for granted: Bishop Nyandoro

By Jabulani Shaba

Zimbabwe Bishops’ delegate at the 2018 Synod of Bishops and Gokwe Diocese Rt Rev Rudolf Nyandoro has weighed on the need for pastors to take young people seriously, and listen to them. 

Submitting his interventions during the Synod in Rome, Bishop Nyandoro said that, “The youth is a dynamic group which needs engagement in every aspect of their lives.    As pastors we need to establish a continuous dialogue and journey with them in their faith and religion’’

“Let us listen to their stories. Let us hear their cries and answer them with empathy not with apathy. Let us not take them for granted. They have a lot to offer if they are given opportunities,” he said.

Representing a country where young people are often side-lined and assigned to menial jobs at parishes, Bishop Nyandoro said “As Church fathers let us promote and empower the youths to perform their best in liturgy and social life.” 

One of the significant challenges the Church in Africa faces is how to reconcile the older generations to the ‘dynamic’ young generations which often feel judged and stereotyped to the negative. Addressing this, the prelate emphasised that the Church needs to listen to them ‘without being judgemental.’

“While many young people in Zimbabwe are part of the Church, they however feel that the Church is a dying institution which needs reviving. For those who have good suggestions and insights, are not given opportunities to perform for the growth of the Church. Many youth now see no reason to continue clinging to the Church that does not recognize them. They turn to Pentecostals where they are well received and participate actively,” he added.

Pope Francis and the 267 Synod fathers attending the Synod of Bishops on Young people this week had an opportunity to listen to the 34 young people attending the synod.

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