Pope announces 2015 to be dedicated to Consecrated Life
Stressing the importance of the religious vocation, Pope Francis announced today that the year 2015 will be dedicated to Consecrated Life. The Union of Superiors General held its 82nd General Assembly in the Salesianum in Rome from 27 to 29 November. Although a brief meeting with the Union was planned, but the Holy Father spent an estimated three hours in a question and answer discussion with participants.
Citing the example of the Servant of God Matteo Ricci, Pope Francis told participants that the Church must ask “forgiveness for, and looking with shame upon, apostolic failures caused by misunderstandings in this field.” “Intercultural dialogue must press for the introduction persons of various cultures, expressing different ways of living charism, in the governance of religious institutes,” he stressed.
Regarding the formation of religious, the Holy Father called on the Union of Superior Generals to avoid all forms of hypocrisy and clericalism. Formation, he said, is not a watch dog but rather, “an artisanal craft.” “It’s aim is to form religious persons with a tender heart, not acid, not like vinegar. We are all sinners, but not corrupt. Sinners are to be accepted, but not the corrupt,” he said.
Other questions asked by the Holy Father were on the subject of brotherhood and the relationships between those in consecrated life and their particular Churches. The Pope also emphasized the importance of the educational mission of schools and universities. “The pillars of education are transmitting knowledge, transmitting methods, transmitting values. By these means, faith is communicated. The educator must measure up to those he educates, and must give careful thought to how to proclaim Jesus Christ to a changing generation,” he said.
Before concluding the meeting, the Holy Father thanked participants for their years of service to the Church and announced 2015 as a Year dedicated to Consecrated Life.
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