In his greetings for Christmas, Francis spoke to Vatican staff, focusing on four words: work, family, gossip, and forgiveness.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis met with Vatican staff today for the traditional Christmas greetings. Talking to them extempore, the pontiff said, "I don’t want undeclared and precarious jobs in the Vatican".
"Work is the first word that I say to you, not to tell you to work harder but to say thank you,” the pope explained. And “I do not want undeclared jobs in the Vatican,” he added. For that, “I apologise.”
As he said on other occasions, “no one should be left without a job. [. . .] This is a matter of conscience for me. [Otherwise,] We cannot preach the Doctrine of the Church. This is how it is for me. Please help me, help me solve this situation."
Work is "the path towards sanctification and happiness,” Francis said. "Not having a job is a curse, because work gives us dignity, job security gives us dignity".
"This is a global problem that depends on many factors”. But in the end, “keeping a job means dignity, bringing bread [home], not from Caritas but through work, and doing it well is dignity."
"The second word that comes to mind is family,” said the pope. “When I know that one of your families is in crisis and children are anguished because the family is in crisis, I suffer. Let us help you. Please, get help, ask for help in time. [Let us] protect families.”
“I know that some of you are separated and I suffer with you. [. . .] When parents fight children suffer. Let me give you some advice: never quarrel in front of the children. Protect the family. The family! The family, this is the great jewel because God created the family. Fecund, go ahead.”
The third word Francis cited is “gossip”. As he put it, this word “comes back often”, and is the cause of a lot of suffering. His analogy sums things up well.
"A gossiper is like a terrorist: he throws the bomb that explodes and harms many others. Please, do not engage in the terrorism of gossiping! How can we not gossip? Bite your tongue!”
"Forgiveness and apologies [are] the fourth word, because we do not always give a good example. I mean [by we] the clerical fauna", Pope Francis explained. "In life, we clerics make mistakes, we sin, we act unjustly, we hurt people a bit, sometimes we are neurotic. This is why I ask for forgiveness."
The Pope ended by urging people not to be afraid to ask for forgiveness, to seek a good confessor, for "there are many merciful priests," and "Christmas provides a good opportunity to make peace with ourselves."