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The Pope to the clergy: Stand close to the people

The Pope to the clergy: Stand close to the people

On Thursday, February 8, the Pope received participants in the Priestly Training Conference, which is being held in the Vatican from February 6 to 10. The Pope asked them to be careful not to be neurotic, bitter or angry and to remain connected to the people – this “preserves us from the danger of isolating ourselves from reality.”

Catarina Agorilios – Vatican City

On February 8, Pope Francis received more than a thousand priests participating in a five-day conference on the continuing education of priests. The theme of the conference, which will be held from February 6 to 10, and which is organized by the Clergy Department, is “Rekindle the Gift of God That Is Within You.”

In his address to the guests in the Vatican’s reception hall, the Pope cordially called the Dean of the Dicastery, Cardinal Lazarus Yu Hyung-sik, “the great Korean leader,” and stressed the importance of this conference to ignite the fire of vocation and find tools together. And languages ​​that help priestly education and never believe that they sit on all the answers.

“Don't believe they have all the answers.”

Three paths – joy, belonging to the people, and the creative power of service

The Pope proposed three ways to revive the received gift of priesthood: the joy of the Gospel, belonging to the people, and the power of creative service.

The joy that comes, above all, from the awareness that we are loved by God, which frees us from individualism and from the danger of a life without meaning, without love or hope. The Pope said that bearing witness to God's love is the only thing that matters. Regarding belonging to the people, the Pope quoted an elderly priest: “When a priest cannot play with the children, he is lost.” The Pope stressed that the priest must be a human being, so that the comfort of the Gospel reaches the people of God, so that their humanity is transformed by the Holy Spirit. Thus, the Pope warned against neurotic, bitter and angry priests. The third way: the creative power of service. The Pope said that service is what distinguishes the servants of Christ, and training priests means serving them, serving their lives, encouraging their path, helping them in discernment, accompanying them in difficulties, and supporting them in pastoral challenges. The priest thus formed places himself in turn at the service of the people of God, stands close to the people and, as Jesus did on the cross, bears responsibility for everyone.

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The Pope concluded his speech to the priests by urging not to be afraid of tenderness.

“When a priest cannot play with the children, he is lost.”