Pope Francis calls for evangelization of priests
Pope Francis met with the clergy of Rome at the Basilica of St John Lateran, following his usual morning Mass at Santa Marta. In anticipation of his visit, Cardinal Vicar Agostino Vallini circulated on September 16 among the priests of the diocese of Rome a reflection written by the Pope about the priesthood in the light of the Aparecida Document presented by the then Cardinal Bergoglio during the Fifth Conference of Latin American Bishops.
While he served as archbishop of Buenos Aires before assuming the papacy, Pope Francis wrote about his awareness that the world is in the midst of changing times, “not in the many partial ways that anyone might find in the daily actions one performs, but rather in the meaning that gives unity to all that exists”.
“The defining aspect of this change of epoch is that things are no longer in their place. Our previous ways of explaining the world and relationships, good and bad, no longer appears to work. The way in which we locate ourselves in history has changed. Things we thought would never happen, or that we never thought we would see, we are experiencing now, and we dare not even imagine the future. That which appeared normal to us – family, the Church, society and the world – will probably no longer seem that way. We cannot simply wait for what we are experiencing to pass, under the illusion that things will return to being how they were before”.
The then-archbishop Bergoglio presents the mission of priests of challenging these changes, while encouraging each one of them as pastors to be “an ardent missionary who lives the constant desire to seek out the remote, not content with simple administration”, while he reiterates that “a transformation in pastoral action and a consequent transforming pastoral action can only occur when mediated by the interior transformation of the agents of pastoral care and the members of the community they form. … To become once again a Church driven by evangelical momentum and audacity, we must again become faithful and evangelised disciples”.
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