Pope Francis Emphasizes Three Paths for Continuous Training of Priests
(Vatican News) On February 8, Pope Francis met with participants at an international seminar on the continuous training of priests and pointed out three paths for the continuous training of priests: the joy of the Gospel, belonging to the people, and the creativity of service. The Pope emphasized that priests must first become witnesses of the gospel before becoming teachers; in pastoral work, they must always be close to and caring for people and become members of the people of God; they must always be compassionate and not afraid of becoming gentle apostles.
The meeting took place at the Paul VI Hall and was attended by more than a thousand priests. Pope Francis stressed that the purpose of the symposium was to “rekindle the fire of vocations” and explore “tools and language that will help in the formation of priests.”
The Pope highlighted the importance of being a witness before becoming a teacher. He urged priests to find joy in the Gospel and to be witnesses of God’s love. Pope Francis warned against the path of selfishness and urged priests to reject the mentality of being “entrepreneurs” in their ministry.
The formation of priests, according to the Pope, should involve the cultivation of the whole person. He emphasized the need for priests to focus on their humanity and to be fully present in the lives of the people they serve. Pope Francis encouraged priests to be compassionate and to embrace their role as “fathers and mothers” of the souls entrusted to them.
Furthermore, the Pope emphasized the importance of belonging to the people and urged priests to walk together with their communities. He stressed the need for priestly formation to involve both priests and laity, and highlighted the importance of maintaining priestly fraternity.
Finally, Pope Francis highlighted the significance of forgiveness in the apostolate, urging priests to be merciful and always willing to forgive.
The Pope’s address at the international seminar on the continuous training of priests has provided valuable insights into the paths for renewing the priesthood and has reaffirmed the crucial role of priests as witnesses, servants, and companions in the journey of faith.
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