HomeNewsPope Francis warns priests against ‘plague’ of ‘careerism’ in Church

Pope Francis warns priests against ‘plague’ of ‘careerism’ in Church

“It is very sad when you find priests who are functionaries, who have forgotten they are pastors of the people"

Pope Francis warned priests against “careerism,” describing it as “one of the ugliest forms of worldliness that we clerics can have.”

The pontiff made the call during a meeting with seminarians, priests, and bishops from the Italian region of Calabria on Monday, March 27.

He told his audience that they are pastors, not functionaries, and that the foundation of their ministry is their vocation “to lead the way with the Lord, the love of the Lord.”

“Be careful not to fall into careerism which is a plague,” said the pope, adding that priestly formation should be adapted with the signs of the times.

He told that Italian seminarians, formators, and bishops to address new pastoral challenges in their dioceses by renewing priestly formation.

Taking his cue from the initial question that Jesus addressed to the first disciples who followed him in the Gospel of John, Pope Francis said “What are you looking for?”

He invited the seminarians to ask themleves what they are looking for in the priesthood, whether they aspire to be “clerical priests who don’t know how to knead the clay of our suffering humanity, or, to be like Jesus, a sign of the Father’s tenderness.”

- Newsletter -

“It is very sad when you find priests who are functionaries, who have forgotten they are pastors of the people and have turned into state clerics,” said the pope.

The pope also asked the bishops to reflect on what kind of Church they dream of and what kind of priests they imagine for their flock.

Pope Francis said “discernment” is necessary at a time when the influence of Christianity has progressively waned and “a new ecclesial season is opening before us.”

He said that the situation “requires a reflection also on the ministries of priests” who are not anymore “solitary shepherds” in their parishes.

“We need open eyes and an attentive heart to grasp the signs of the times and look ahead,” he said.

“It is necessary to join forces and pool ideas, to address some pastoral challenges that are now transversal to all the diocesan churches of a region,” said Pope Francis.

“I am thinking of the evangelization of young people, of Christian initiation courses, of popular piety, which needs unitary choices inspired by the Gospel,” he said

“But I am also thinking of the needs of charity and the promotion of the culture of legality,” added the pope.

The pope invited the bishops “to make a clear choice about priestly formation” by focusing their energies on fewer seminaries, rather than “dispersing forces” by multiplying them.

The pope urged the seminarians and bishops to be “courageous” in introducing necessary changes and to always act and walk toghether “in charity, unity, and fraternity.” – with a report from Vatican News

© Copyright LiCAS.news. All rights reserved. Republication of this article without express permission from LiCAS.news is strictly prohibited. For republication rights, please contact us at: [email protected]

Support LiCAS.news

We work tirelessly each day to tell the stories of those living on the fringe of society in Asia and how the Church in all its forms - be it lay, religious or priests - carries out its mission to support those in need, the neglected and the voiceless.
We need your help to continue our work each day. Make a difference and donate today.