04 Local Faith Leaders Comment on the Findings

Local Faith Leaders Comment on the Findings


Karl Heinz-Zimmer‘Eighteen–35-year-olds, the connected generation, experience change as the normality of life. They help shape change, breathe it, embody it, live it out and – at the same time appreciate stability, security and acceptance. They are a generation that questions social and religious beliefs and searches for authenticity like no other. A generation that finds itself in the multi-optionality through an enormously high level of education and is looking for the best way for itself; sometimes in doubt as to whether there is anything better or whether your own qualities and efforts can withstand life. Working with them, strengthening their faith and promoting them, requires special access. The key is “trust and trust”. As older people, we can trust that future generations will find their access to life and belief, even if they look different than our own. Views and interpretations may change because only one is unchangeable: Jesus, the living Word of the eternal God’.

KARL-HEINZ ZIMMER, CEO of Willow Creek Deutschland, Germany


Juan Carlos De La Riva‘The gospel continues to have its validity and provocation for all generations and at all times, but it is true that, in this wave of secularisation, it is subjected to a serious prejudice that in some ways neutralises its transforming value for people and social processes. Prejudice feeds on a positivism that does not want to ask questions, a utilitarianism that leaves out questions about meaning, a hyper-valuation of tolerance and pluralism which can degenerate into relativism and indifference to difference. The new means of communication through social networks offers us new forums for the dissemination of proposals, which we must take advantage of as evangelisers without falling into its dangers: consumerism of messages without generating conversion processes, lack of real accompaniment, false sense of community and posturing’.

JUAN CARLOS DE LA RIVA, Director of Revista Pastoral de la Juventad, Spain


Nacho Marques‘I see that young people between 18 and 35 can live a very individualistic reality and can build an image of themselves based on their tastes and preferences, showing in many cases an image that then does not correspond much with reality. I believe that there is a confidence that technology can help us to live better, to build virtual communities that connect people. But in the long run technology cannot replace the true community that is experienced in real interactions with people. I believe we have an opportunity to live an authentic gospel, where followers of Jesus, with their differences and discrepancies, can come to love and respect each other, thus showing the love of Jesus. If, as disciples of Jesus, we show a living, real, close faith that also shows the complex side of following God in a secularised society, perhaps people can be attracted to that type of community – by those meaningful relationships’.

NACHO MARQUÉS Director of Ágape España, Spain


Toni Kurmann‘As faith has always been handed down from generation to generation, the present secular context is a new challenge. It is a new invitation for us to accompany this generation to discover God. Young people especially desire and hope to live a dignified life, in a reconciled world, in peaceful coexistence with the environment. To create and maintain free spaces for them in society as well as the Church is what we Jesuits strive to contribute to. That is why we strongly believe that a fruitful dialogue between the generations will facilitate the discovery of the personal relationship with God. This will be the fundament to understand the individual call – which will always be connected to serve all in the human family. Every generation needs learning opportunities in order to be able to practise responsibility and to prove oneself as neighbor. This is illustrated in the parable of the Good Samaritan. Walking with the poor or the outcasts – those whose dignity has been violated – is an opportunity for reconciliation and justice’.

TONI KURMANN, Director of Swiss Jesuits International, Switzerland

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