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World Oct. 9, 2018

Youth, clerics need better formation on sexuality: Quebec cardinal

By Courtney Grogan

Cardinal Gerald Lacroix of Quebec speaks at a press briefing on the synod at the Holy See press office, Oct. 9 (Daniel Ibanez/CNA)

VATICAN CITY (CNA/EWTN News)—Young Catholics, particularly clerics, need better formation on sexuality, affectivity, and the body, Cardinal Gérald Lacroix told reporters Tuesday, speaking about the 2018 Synod of Bishops.

“We need to do a better job,” the Archbishop of Québec said at the Oct. 9 press conference. “We need to offer a better formation to all members of the Church, but especially clergy, religious communities, movements, and groups on the body, affectivity, and sexuality.”

Synod bishops discussed the need for better formation of young clergy as a part of the synod dialogue on young adults, the faith, and vocational discernment.

“We are already seeing that will probably be a part of the proposals," the archbishop continued.

The instrumentum laboris, or working document of the synod, has a section subtitled “Body, Affectivity and Sexuality,” which addresses “early sexual activity, multiple sexual partners, digital pornography, exhibiting bodies online and sexual tourism risk disfiguring the beauty and depth of affective and sex life” among other problems.

“In the ecclesial domain, the importance of the body, affectivity and sexuality is recognized, but not always convincingly presented as a key element in educational and faith journeys, by rediscovering and appreciating the meaning of sexual difference and the vocational dynamics that are peculiar to males and females,” the synod working document continues.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay added that he could sense that the bishops in the discussion group that he moderated “wanted to speak about this matter.”

“The youth want an authentic Church. We all want an authentic Church,” he said.

“There have been policy failures, system failures and these have got to be rectified with courage, with confidence, and with honesty full on,” Cardinal Gracias said.

Cardinal Lacroix said that the synod bishops “have not shunned from talking about this” in their discussion groups.

There is a need for “all members of the Church, not only the clergy, but all baptized people, to have a more coherent life and give a better witness, testimony of our faith,” Cardinal Lacroix continued.

“We would not be in this situation of poverty and corruption and all of this if we had lived our faith.”