Sister to synod bishops: young people need male and female mentors

by Joshua J. McElwee

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One of the women religious attending the worldwide gathering of Catholic bishops told the prelates that young people today are seeking mentorship from both male and female elders.

South Korean Sr. Mina Kwon, one of the eight women religious allowed to attend the Oct. 3-28 Synod of Bishops in an advisory capacity, told the 267 prelates taking part Oct. 5 that "young people are sensitive to the issue of inequality and exclusion."

Kwon, a member of the Congregation of Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres and a trained psychologist, said that one of the reasons Catholicism spread in her country centuries ago was its focus on "equality based on the principle: 'all human beings are children of God.' "

"Catholicism brought new opportunities for women to become leaders and teachers," she told the bishops. "In other words, women were given an almost equal place in the initial stage of the Korean Church. It was a new and revolutionary thing."

"The youth needs two mentorships, male and female," Kwon concluded. "Living in a more authentic church is what young people are longing for."

Kwon is attending the synod, which is focused on young people, as one of 72 auditors. They can take part in the gathering's discussions, but not vote on its expected final document.

While the Vatican is not releasing the talks given by the bishops attending the gathering, it is releasing the remarks given by the auditors.

Read the full story at National Catholic Reporter.