Pope to Urbanianum College priests: be inspired by the martyrs of dialogue
Received in audience at the Vatican the trainers and alumni of the international seminary for clergy from mission territories. "One is a credible missionary not because of a habit one wears, but because of a style of simplicity and sincerity." Pontifical Mission Societies president Msgr. Dal Toso appointed apostolic nuncio to Jordan.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Put yourselves in the school of the 'martyrs of dialogue' who, even in some of your countries, have courageously traveled this road to be builders of peace," was Pope Francis invitation this morning to the students and trainers of the Pontifical Urbanianum College, the international seminary that since 1627 in Rome has been caring for theological and pastoral deepening in the formation of clergy for the so-called "mission" territories.
"An important intuition," the pontiff called it, and still valid for the whole Church "called today to a 'pastoral and missionary conversion' also in the formation of future priests."
In his address, the pope dwelt in particular on some characteristics to be taken care of in the formation of future missionaries. First and foremost is the "courage of authenticity."
"Our closeness to God and to our brothers and sisters," he commented, "is realized and strengthened to the extent that we have the courage to shed the masks we wear, perhaps to appear perfect, impeccable and obsequious. One is a credible missionary," he added, "not because of a dress one wears or outward attitudes, but rather because of a style of simplicity and sincerity.
Alongside this, the pope returned to the invitation to cultivate the "ability to come out of oneself," so as not to "worship a God who is only a projection of our needs. You have the opportunity to do this right now in community life, especially in a formation community as rich and varied as yours, with so many cultures, languages and sensitivities."
A "great gift" this encounter between peoples and cultures, which educates to the challenge of fraternity. "Our world and also the Church," he added, "need witnesses of fraternity: may you be like that, already now and then when you return to your dioceses and countries, often marked by divisions and conflicts. And also witnesses of joy: the joy of the Gospel that fills the life of the community of disciples."
Finally, for the pontiff, a third indispensable characteristic of the missionary disciple is "openness to dialogue. First of all to dialogue with God, in prayer, which is also an exodus from our ego to welcome Him. And then to fraternal dialogue, in a radical openness to the other."
"Jesus," the pope concluded, "showed us this by becoming man, embracing the dramas, questions and expectations of suffering humanity in search of peace. The world needs dialogue, needs peace. And it needs men and women who are its witnesses."
Also today, the Vatican Press Office announced that Pope Francis has appointed the current assistant secretary of the Dicastery for Evangelization Msgr. Giovanni Dal Toso - who is also president of the Pontifical Mission Societies - as the new apostolic nuncio to Jordan with residence in Amman. With this appointment the figure of the apostolic nuncio to Jordan is distinguished for the first time from that of the nuncio to Iraq.