Pope: in a globalised society, priests must seek to create fraternity
Pope Francis spoke today to priests and students from the Mexican Pontifical College focusing his address on the priestly vocation. In it, he said, we must “not underestimate the worldly temptations that can lead us to insufficient personal knowledge, self-referential attitudes, consumerism and multiple ways to evade our responsibilities.”
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis met this morning with priests and students from the Pontifical Mexican College in Rome. In his address, the pontiff spoke about the priestly vocation today, in a globalised reality of interconnected social media and networks.
What is needed, Francis said, is “a vision of the whole and of unity,” one that “can encourage us to create fraternity, that allows us to highlight the points of connection and interaction within cultures and in the ecclesial community”. In this situation, priests are called to bring a gaze of” tenderness, reconciliation and fraternity”, ensuring that it conforms with the one with which the Lord “contemplates us”.
Taking his cue from the College's own educational task, underscored by the dean, Father Víctor Ulises Vásquez Moreno, Francis said that to “read the signs of the times” from God’s perspective, it is “essential to harmonise the academic, spiritual, human and pastoral dimension in ongoing education.”
Noting the need to “become aware” of “personal and community shortcomings, as well as the negligence and shortcomings that we must correct in our life”, the pontiff said “not to underestimate the worldly temptations that can lead us to insufficient personal knowledge, self-referential attitudes, consumerism and multiple ways to evade our responsibilities.”
Referring to De Lubac, he noted that “spiritual worldliness is the worst of evils that can happen to the Church”. Faced with today's problems like corruption as well as the lack of hope, especially among the youngest, Francis pointed to Mary as a model of tenderness that reflects the love of God who “welcomes everyone”.
“For this reason, it is necessary however to let ourselves to be modelled by the Lord so that our pastoral charity may be intensified, and no one is excluded from our concern and our prayers.”
This will also prevent isolation at home, in the office or in hobbies; instead, it will “encourage people to go out to meet others, and not sit still”. Priests, he noted, should not become clericalised: “clericalism is a perversion”.
With regard to reconciliation, pastors “are called to help rebuild respectful and constructive relationships between people, human groups and cultures within society, inviting everyone to 'let themselves be reconciled by God'“ and to commit themselves to the restoration of justice.
Finally, “together with Christ the Servant and Shepherd, we must be able to have a vision of the whole and of unity, one that can encourage us to create fraternity, that allows us to highlight the points of connection and interaction within cultures and in the ecclesial community.”
This means having “A gaze that facilitates communion and fraternal participation, which encourages and guides the faithful to be respectful of our common home and builders of a new world, in collaboration with all men and women of good will.”