Pope to Genovese clergy: creative fidelity key to mission
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met with the bishops, priests, religious and seminarians of the Archdiocese of Genoa and the whole region of Liguria on Saturday, during the course of a one-day pastoral visit.
The questions from clergy and religious came from two secular priests, Don Andrea Carcasole and Don Pasquale Revello: the President of the Italian Union of Women Religious Superiors for the Liguria Region; and Fr. Andrea Caruso, O.F.M. Cap.
Their queries focused on the search for ways to maintain hope and nourish the interior life of faith in today’s frenetic world – and the Holy Father’s responses centered on the imitation of Christ, the fostering of a sense of fraternity among the clergy and of genuine diocesan ecclesial unity, and the cultivation of a rich, mission-focused interior life of prayer.
“What we want,” said Pope Francis, “is pastoral conversion, missionary conversion.”
The Pope also condemned the practice – diffuse in Latin America and at one time not too long ago present also in Italy and other places, of encouraging poor young women to join a religious congregation as novices – often in order to shore up diminishing numbers – and then to abandon the girls and young women for whom religious life is not their calling.
“It is a scandal,” said Pope Francis.
“Work [to foster vocations – (It. lavoro vocazionale)] is difficult, but we must do it,” he said. “It is a challenge,” Pope Francis continued. “We need to be creative.”