02 Jun 2017

Young priests need support: Pope

CathNews June 2, 2017

Young priests need support: Pope

Young priests need support to keep their enthusiasm and joy alive, Pope Francis said, reports CNS.

The Pope was speaking to members, consultants and others who took part in the Congregation for Clergy’s three-day plenary assembly, which finished yesterday.

The assembly discussed the importance of priests who are the living presence of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, who dwells among his people and possesses a welcoming and compassionate heart, Cardinal Beniamino Stella, congregation prefect, said in his opening remarks.

Young priests in particular need special attention and accompaniment by their bishops, fellow priests and church communities because “the risk of spreading oneself too thin, exhaustion or seeking refuge in spiritual worldliness is high” in today’s culture of indifference, individualism and secularism, Cardinal Stella said.

Pope Francis said he wanted to tell the world’s young priests, “You have been chosen; you are dear to the Lord!”

And, he said, God always watches over his children and will guide their steps.

Keeping fresh the enthusiasm, joy and proper kind of fear in young priests is critical for ensuring they do not become paralysed by problems and worry, Francis said, and for helping prevent their falling into the temptation of “rigidity,” giving up or getting lost.

“One has to admit that often young people are judged a bit too superficially and they are labelled too easily as a ‘wishy-washy’ generation, lacking passion and ideals. Certainly, there are young people who are fragile, disoriented or infected by the culture of consumerism and individualism,” Francis said.

“But this must not keep us from recognising that youth are able to firmly take a chance in life and generously throw their hat into the ring,” he said.

Their focus on the future is a good antidote to the resignation and hopelessness in society, the Pontiff said. They are creative, imaginative and courageous when it comes to change, and they generously give of themselves for others and for ideals like justice and peace.


Don’t be overly harsh on youth; they have much to give, Pope says (CNS)

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