A World Youth Day pilgrim waves a Philippine flag in Lisbon, Portugal on Aug, 2, 2023. FR. DOMINIQUE RAMOS

By CBCP News

August 4, 2023

Lisbon, Portugal

In an age of secularization, youth ministry is more crucial than ever for the future of the church, a bishop said.

Bishop Emeritus Antonio Tobias of Novaliches said that young people “are somebody to care for”.

“Even if they show a secularist attitude, let us not abandon them,” Tobias said. “If you disregard them, you disregard the future of culture and the future of the church.”

“To my fellow bishops, priests and lay people, let us not abandon the families, especially our young people,” he said.

The bishop is currently in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon for the ongoing World Youth Day celebrations.

At 82, he is among the seven bishops from the Philippines attending the largest gathering of young people.

It’s his tenth time attending the World Youth Day.

He said WYD should remind all stakeholders to be in solidarity with the young people and support youth-led and focused initiatives.

The church, he also said, must face issues affecting young Catholics today, including what he called “sexual revolution”.

“It’s everywhere, so the Church will have to face that whether you like it or not,” Tobias said.


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