Vatican City (
AsiaNews) - St. Joseph,
" so silent yet so necessary at the side of Our Lady " says " can
tell us a lot about our own service to the Church". This was how Pope Francis' concluded his
greeting to the superiors and to the officials of the Roman Curia, whom he met this morning in the
Clementine Hall .
Living Christmas "spiritually close to St. Joseph" is only the conclusion of his speech, read standing up. Earlier, after the greeting of the dean of the College of Cardinals, Card. Angelo Sodano , the pontiff expressed first, his "thank you" to all of his employees : " I thank you - he said - for the work which you do each day: for the care, diligence and creativity which you display; and for your effort - I know it is not always easy - to work together in the office, both to listen to and challenge one another, and to bring out the best in all your different personalities and gifts, in a spirit of mutual respect".
A special thanks he gave it to those who are about to retire The pope recalled especially those who have worked "those of you who have worked here for so many years with immense dedication, hidden from the eyes of the world". And, in unscripted remarks he recalled here are many "saints", as he often " also mentioned in public."
"Hidden" witness of "discretion"; "professionalism" and "service" are what he referred to as the qualities of a member of the Curia.
"Professionalism - he explained - by which I mean competence, study, keeping abreast of things... This is a basic requisite for working in the Curia. Naturally, professionalism is something which develops, and is in part acquired; but I think that, precisely for it to develop and to be acquired, there has to be a good foundation from the outset".
The other feature " service to the Pope and to the bishops, to the universal Church and to the particular Churches. In the Roman Curia, one learns - in a real way, "one breathes in" - this twofold aspect of the Church, this interplay of the universal and the particular. I think that this is one of the finest experiences of those who live and work in Rome: "to sense" the Church in this way.
"When professionalism is lacking, there is a slow drift downwards towards mediocrity" - said Francis - "Dossiers become full of trite and lifeless information, and incapable of opening up lofty perspectives".
When the attitude is no longer one of service to the particular Churches and their bishops, "the structure of the Curia turns into a ponderous, bureaucratic customshouse, constantly inspecting and questioning, hindering the working of the Holy Spirit and the growth of God's people."
Speaking of the "holiness of life" as the fundamental quality that supports the work of the curia, he focused on the "conscientious objection to gossip ." The theme has often been addressed by the Pope in his daily homilies at Casa Santa Marta, often addressed to members of the curial offices.
"We - said the pope - rightfully insist on the importance of conscientious objection, but perhaps we too need to exercise it as a means of defending ourselves from an unwritten law of our surroundings, which unfortunately is that of gossip. So let us all be conscientious objectors; and mind you, I am not simply preaching! Gossip is harmful to people, our work and our surroundings".
At the meeting with the curia, Msgr. Pietro Parolin was present for the first time in an official capacity, to whom the pope addressed a special greeting, recalling that he "needs our prayers ."
At the end of his speech, the pope greeted one by one all those present, exchanging a few sentences with each person.