In the Media

During the de Nicola Center's pilgrimage to Rome, our students had several opportunities to chat with media. This page collects the various stories and interviews from our time witnessing (and witnessing TO) the Synod:

Colloquy in Rome features frank testimony by youth, discussion with Bishop Barron (Catholic World Report, October 4, 2018)

There was a colloquy Thursday evening at Rome’s Libera Università di Maria Santissima Assunta — the LUMSA, as it is known in the city — sponsored by the Notre Dame Centre for Ethics and Culture with the participation of Crux. The event featured opening remarks from Godfrey Onah, the engaging bishop of Nsukka, Nigeria, followed by seven stories of life in the faith told by young people from all around the world, and capped by a dialogue between Robert Barron, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles and John Allen of Crux, with Pia de Solenni of the Diocese of Orange, Ca., serving as the evening’s MC.
There was good humor, if not high spirits, right from the start.

Voices of #Synod2018: Aly Cox (Grotto Network, October 5, 2018)

On Paul VI and whether the synod could pull an ‘October surprise’ (Crux, October 5, 2018)

At an event sponsored by Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture and assisted by the Diocese of Orange and Crux on Thursday night, Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles talked about how the opening Mass on Wednesday, as bishops from around the world processed together with the pope, gave him a sense of what Vatican II must have been like. (At 58, Barron is far too young to have been there - he was actually born 10 months after it was announced and would have been 6 when it closed.)

Young People Clear the Synod Air (National Catholic Register, October 5, 2018)

Young adults in Rome this week, as the youth synod gets underway, are being frank about what the Church needs.
“The Church is an instrument of healing, but, right now, the Church needs healing,” said Aly Cox, a law student at the University of Notre Dame.
But persevering through the ongoing sex-abuse discussions and investigations, the theme of “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment” is not unforgotten.
At a separate event hosted by the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture Thursday, young people from seven countries shared their testimonies of faith.

Bishops say young people need to be heard, not arrogantly lectured (Catholic News Service, October 5, 2018)

Later that evening, Bishop Barron joined Nigerian Bishop Godfrey Igwebuike Onah of Nsukka at an event dedicated to the synod on youth, faith and vocational discernment.
The University of Notre Dame's Center for Ethics and Culture sponsored the event in Rome.
Seven Notre Dame students spoke at the event about their faith, highlighting their positive experiences while also expressing their concerns that internal divisions and the scandal of sexual abuse are wounding the church.

Barron defends request for Vatican-backed McCarrick probe (Crux, October 6, 2018)

“The pope does, indeed, have a wider, more international perspective. I get all of that and we shouldn’t see the Church fully from an American standpoint…that’s his call finally,” Barron admitted.
Barron’s remarks came during a panel discussion organized by the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture during the October Synod on Young People, Faith, and Vocational Discernment, where he is one of the six bishops from the United States participating in the Synod.

Voices of #Synod2018: Maryssa Gabriel (Grotto Network, October 7, 2018)

Chinese convert says deal with Vatican needed at pastoral level (Crux, October 8, 2018)

Weeks after the Vatican signed a provisional agreement with China on the appointment of bishops and lifted the excommunications of seven government-appointed prelates previously not in communion with Rome, a young convert to Catholicism from Beijing said she believes the move was the right decision.
Wenxuan Yuan, 27 and from Beijing, said the Vatican’s decision to sign a deal with China on the appointment of bishops is “good,” and needed on a pastoral level.

Do Vatican Officials See Abuse Crisis as a Referendum on the Pope? (National Catholic Register, October 8, 2018)

Last week, at an event sponsored by the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture, a Nigerian bishop who has spent almost all of his priestly life in Rome put it a different way.
Speaking of Pope Francis, Bishop Gregory Onah of Nsukka said that those who “grumble about some of his mistakes,” fail to appreciate the pope’s holiness, humility and simplicity of life.
Those remarks demonstrate how very differently the crisis is viewed in the U.S. and in Rome.

Synod wrestles with how much emphasis to give abuse crisis (Crux, October 9, 2018)

“Despite all the pain,” said Bishop Godfrey Igwebuike Onah of Nsukka, Nigeria, “we feel about the stories that are not so encouraging, about the very negative stories we hear, … [that] there is still reason to hope.”
“There is so much reason for hope that I think that is an antidote, so to speak, to the negative stories,” he added.
Onah spoke at a panel discussion organized by the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture in collaboration with the Diocese of Orange in California and Crux.​

Voices of #Synod2018: Edoardo Mazzantini (Grotto Network, October 15, 2018)

Monday twists bear on perceptions of ‘rigging’ at Synod of Bishops (Crux, October 16, 2018)

First of all, talk of “rigging” of the process probably has been a little overheated from the beginning. As Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles pointed out in a Rome event Oct. 4 sponsored by the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture, every meeting is at least a little “rigged,” in the sense that organizers wouldn’t call it without some basic sense of desired results.

Young Catholics share their hopes for the Synod (Orange County Catholic, October 17, 2018)

“If the Church does not reach us while we are young, someone else will tell us what we should live for,” said Gonzalo Martinez, a young Catholic from Uruguay speaking at a panel discussion in Rome on Oct. 4 as bishops from around the world gathered with Pope Francis for a month-long meeting on young people and the faith. Martinez concluded his reflections by urging the Pope and bishops, “Lead us with Christ at the center, with Mary to petition, and the witness of the saints to follow. Let us walk together in this journey and help each other achieve the holiness we truly desire!”

The Catholic Church, Beacon of "Beauty and Truth and Goodness" (EWTN News Nightly, October 19, 2018)

Voices of #Synod2018: Gonzalo Martinez (Grotto Network, October 20, 2018)

Notre Dame youth on Synod, the Sacred Heart and Mother Teresa (Crux, October 21, 2018)

As the Synod of Bishops on Young People, Faith, and Vocational Discernment draws to a close, twelve students from the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture’s Sorin Fellows program spent a week in Rome meeting with synod delegates, volunteering with the Missionaries of Charity, and traveling on pilgrimage to some of Rome’s historic churches. Below are their reflections on the synod process and the challenges facing young people today.

The Transcendental Values: Truth (Orange County Catholic, October 22, 2018)

Last week, our Chancellor, Dr. Pia de Solenni, was in Rome to help facilitate a pilgrimage organized by the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture. The students had the opportunity to meet synod fathers at three receptions during the week. At each reception, a student gave a reflection. The following was given at the last reception on Thursday, October 18.

Synod hears voices of hope from the global south (Angelus News/Crux, October 24, 2018)

“There is so much reason for hope that I think it’s an antidote, so to speak, to the negative stories,” he told a Rome event at the beginning of the October 3-28 Synod of Bishops.
That event was sponsored by the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture in collaboration with the Diocese of Orange in California, and Crux.

Letters from the Synod: Testimony for the Church (First Things, October 24, 2018)

During the second full week of Synod-2018, the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture, directed by Professor Carter Snead, hosted a series of evening receptions at which Synod fathers could meet young adults, hear their concerns personally, and discuss the Synod’s themes in an informal atmosphere. The following reflection was offered at one of those events by John Paul Ferguson, a Notre Dame undergraduate. Jack Ferguson’s summons to a truth-based evangelization of young people who, like the rest of us, are called to sanctity, struck your editor as a fitting way to end these LETTERS.

Notre Dame students witness to the Synod on Youth (Irish Rover, October 26, 2018)

During the week of fall break, the Center for Ethics and Culture took a group of Sorin Fellows to Rome to witness the Synod on Youth currently taking place at the Vatican–and as Student Program Manager, Pete Hlabse put it, “to witness to the Synod.”
Hlabse told the Rover that he viewed the trip as a pilgrimage and an opportunity for prayer, “to renew our own fidelity and commitment to the life and sanctity of the Church.” Recent discussion about ‘cleansing the temple of the institutional Church’ led him to see the pilgrimage as “an opportunity to cleanse our own temples, to recommit ourselves in our lives of faith, such that we might serve as a beacon of the Church’s truth, beauty, and goodness.”

'God has become my light' A Chinese teen’s conversion story (Catholic News Agency, October 30, 2018)

The first time Wenxuan Yuan visited a Catholic church in Beijing as a child, she was struck by its beauty. 
In the courtyard of the church there was a blackboard with a verse from the Book of Revelation in Chinese, “Do not be afraid. I am the first and the last, the one who lives. Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever.”