Pope warns bishops not to accept priests when clergy are few

Pope Francis has warned bishops not to accept priests just because there is a shortage of them in a diocese.

In an address to the Congregation for Clergy on October 3, Pope Francis asked bishops to think of the good of the people of God and to study the itinerary of vocations carefully.

Vocations are a treasure from God, which are not made to “enrich” the individual alone, the Pontiff noted.

“Every vocation is for the mission, and the mission of ordained ministers is evangelisation,” the Pope observed.

“The first form of evangelisation is the witness of fraternity and of communion between priests and bishop,” he said.

The Pope also said he doesn’t want clergy to have a limited view of themselves as being “professionals”.

Instead, priests should be “free of every spiritual worldliness” and aware “that is it their lives that evangelise rather than their works”.

“He who is called to the ministry is not the ‘master’ of his vocation, but rather the administrator of a gift that God has entrusted to him for the good of all the people, or rather for all humanity, even those who have drifted away from religious practice or do not profess faith in Christ”.

Pope Francis added that “at the same time, all the Christian community is the custodian of the treasure of these vocations, destined to its service, and must always be aware of its task of promoting, welcoming and accompanying them with affection”.

Similarly, the Pope reminded the clergy that they too must play their role in formation.

“This involves protecting and nurturing vocations, so that they bear mature fruit.”

He noted that Jesus did not call his disciples by saying to them “come, I will explain to you”, or “follow me, I will teach you”.

“The formation Christ offered his disciples instead took the form of ‘come and follow me’, ‘do as I do’, and this is the method that today, too, the Church must offer her ministers.”


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News category: World.

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