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Oct 4, 5:09 AM EDT

Vatican to host youth summit to hear doubts, criticism


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VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis wants to hear firsthand from young people about their "doubts and criticisms" in the run-up to a big meeting of bishops on how the Catholic Church can better minister to young people today.

The Vatican said Wednesday it would host a summit of young people from around the world March 19-24 as a preparatory meeting to the synod of bishops later in the year. As well as young Catholics, other Christians and young atheists have been invited to the event.

The aim is to let the church hierarchy "hear young people's voices and feelings about their faith, their doubts and criticisms." The meeting's conclusions are set to be sent to the bishops.

Already, the Vatican has sought input from young people via online questionnaires to inform the synod.

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