Pope Francis is calling for a change in the culture of seminaries, saying priests who are taught only to toe the line will become "little monsters."
The pontiff expressed his vision for a more open and joyful religious education system during a three-hour talk with the heads of the orders in November, but his remarks were not published until now in the Jesuit journal Civilta Cattolica.
Taking another swipe at clericalism — a term often used to express a very formal, elitist attitude by some priests — Francis said seminaries and "houses of formation" need to keep up with the cultural times.
"Problems are not solved simply by forbidding doing this or that. Dialogue as well as confrontation are needed," he said.
"To avoid problems, in some houses of formation, young people grit their teeth, try not to make mistakes, follow the rules smiling a lot, just waiting for the day when they are told: 'Good, you have finished formation.' This is hypocrisy that is the result of clericalism which is one of the worst evils.
"Formation [of future priests] is a work of art, not a police action," he added. "We must form their hearts. Otherwise we are creating little monsters. And then these little monsters mold the people of God. This really gives me goose bumps."
In the 10 months since he was elected leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Francis has become known for his plain-spoken, sometimes blunt style — and it was on full display in this interview.
"Just think of the religious who have hearts as sour as vinegar," he said at one point. "They are not made for the people. In the end, we must not form administrators, managers — but fathers, brothers, traveling companions."
Francis, who was named Time magazine's person of the year for 2013, said men should run toward the priesthood, not away from secular life.
"The ghost to fight against is the image of religious life understood as an escape or hiding place in face of an 'external' difficult and complex world," he said.
Echoing past comments, the former archbishop of Buenos Aires called for priests to work directly with the poor and other on the fringes of society.
"This is really very important to me: the need to become acquainted with reality by experience, to spend time walking on the periphery in order really to become acquainted with the reality and life-experiences of people," he said.
"If this does not happen we then run the risk of being abstract ideologists or fundamentalists, which is not healthy."
"Yung nangyayari sa atin, lindol, baha, super typhoon, ay paalala sa atin," he said.
He also believes that the disasters send a message to people.
"Pinapaalaala sa atin na huwag tayong makalimot sa buhay. Even our life, nasa kamay ng Diyos so we better make it meaningful," Arguelles said.
However, the archbishop said Filipinos should be thankful for the generosity and unity that people show in the aftermath of the calamities.
"Katulad ng mga nasalanta, they are closer to God now more than ever and tayo rin at dapat ganyan at sana during better times."
Arguelles said recent calamities should serve as a reminder for people to avoid going against God's rule. -- From ABS-CBN News
“It is not easy to trust oneself to the mercy of God, because His mercy is an unfathomable abyss – but we must do it!”
He said that God “has the ability to forget… He kisses you, He embraces you, and He says to you: ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now, on, sin no more.’ Only that counsel does He give you.
“We ask for the grace of never tiring of asking pardon, for He never tires of pardoning.”
Is it coincidence or an act of God? According to Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, tragedy always seems to happen whenever the controversial Reproductive Health bill is being discussed in Congress.
MANILA, Philippines - The fight against the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill is the biggest challenge the Catholic Church is facing this Christmas season, an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said yesterday.
Batangas Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said that while a 20-year-old gunman killed 20 children in the US, President Aquino would be killing millions of children with a stroke of a pen if he signs the RH bill into law. From Philippine Star
NAGA CITY—Bishop Gilbert Garcera of the Diocese of Daet, the capital of Camarines Norte, believes overpopulation has been advantageous to the Philippines and to the world because it has increased the number of overseas workers and migrants who could send remittances back home while taking care of ageing people abroad and spreading the Christian faith.
Economically, he said, the country also benefits from the “mission” because the migrants and overseas Filipino workers send back money from working as caregivers.
“When you help poor people they help themselves too. This is the reason we have so many pedicab drivers, for instance. Everyone, when given the chance, will strive to earn a living,” he said.
In fact, he said, poor people were more willing to help compared to the rich. Hence, a poor person was not a problem, he said.
How are we treating the people of God? I dream of a church that is a mother and shepherdess. The church’s ministers must be merciful, take responsibility for the people and accompany them like the good Samaritan, who washes, cleans and raises up his neighbour.
This is pure Gospel. God is greater than sin. The structural and organizational reforms are secondary—that is, they come afterward. The first reform must be the attitude. The ministers of the Gospel must be people who can warm the hearts of the people, who walk through the dark night with them, who know how to dialogue and to descend themselves into their people’s night, into the darkness, but without getting lost. The people of God want pastors, not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials. The bishops, particularly, must be able to support the movements of God among their people with patience, so that no one is left behind. But they must also be able to accompany the flock that has a flair for finding new paths. " Pope Francis (From America,The National Catholic Review)