There are two groups of young Catholics: those who want the Church to return to a previous era, and those who think the Church should follow current social trends.

That is the conclusion of a new report from the Bishops of England and Wales, following a survey of young people which received 3,000 responses, most from Catholics.

Describing the two main groups, the report said the first was “a small but vocal group who want to draw the Church back into an era which they have been told was far better than it is today”. The other, larger group “adhere to the predominant narratives in society, wanting the Church to follow suit”.

The survey was carried out in advance of next October’s synod of bishops, whose theme is “Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment”. Bishops’ conferences around the world are surveying young people.

The report said that big events such as World Youth Day and Flame had been appreciated by many young Catholics, but “there is a gap of quantum proportions between these experiences and the pastoral practice, or lack of it, experienced in many parishes.”

In particular, the work of Youth Ministers is obstructed by a lack of resources.

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