VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Do not settle for a worry-free, comfortable life with an unhealthy attachment to money and an ambitious heart yearning for honors, Pope Francis told seminarians studying in Rome.
“I’m telling you this as a brother, father and friend. Please, shun ecclesial careerism. It is a plague. Avoid it,” he said April 1 during an audience at the Vatican with students, faculty, staff and alumni of the Pontifical Spanish College of St. Joseph in Rome. The college was celebrating the 125th anniversary of its founding.
Everything hinges on loving the Lord with all of one’s heart, soul, mind and strength, he said, citing the Gospel of Mark (12:30).
That is what determines whether a person will be able to say “yes” to Jesus or turn one’s back on him like the rich young man did in the Gospels, he said.
“You cannot settle for leading an orderly and comfortable life that lets you live without worry unless you feel the need to cultivate a spirit of poverty rooted in the heart of Christ,” the pope said.
Priests must have “an appropriate relationship with the world and earthly goods” if they are to gain authentic freedom as children of God, he said.
“Do not forget this — the devil always comes in through the pocket, always.”
Give thanks for what one possesses, he said, and “generously and willingly renounce the superfluous in order to be near the poor and weak.”
While Pope Francis said he wasn’t asking them to “sell their shirt” like Blessed Manuel Domingo y Sol, the college founder, asked people to be willing to do, the pope said he was asking them to be witnesses to Jesus through a lifestyle based on “simplicity and austerity” so as to be “credible proponents of a true social justice.”
Priestly formation cannot depend solely on academic formation, which breeds “all the ideologies that infect the church with every type of clerical academicism.”
Studies must intertwine academic, spiritual, community and apostolic formation all together, and when one of these four legs is missing, he said, “formation begins to limp and the priest ends up paralyzed.”
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103