Priests should be Conformed to Christ in the Church, Pope Francis

Priests should be Conformed to Christ in the Church, Pope Francis

Pope Francis, in a recent message conveyed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, has reiterated his call for over 700 seminarians participating in a pilgrimage to Paris to embrace radical self-giving and pastoral closeness.

Emphasizing the need for priests conformed to Christ in the Church of France,  Pope stressed the importance of celibacy, stating it is not just theological but mystical.

"The priest is celibate—and wants to be—simply because Jesus was," affirmed Pope Francis, underscoring the unchangeable nature of the priesthood despite evolving societal conditions and vocational challenges. Reflecting on the new evangelization in secularized Western societies, he urged priests to embody a pastoral style marked by proximity, compassion, humility, and radical self-giving to draw people to a personal encounter with Christ.

Highlighting the necessity of having "the smell of the sheep,"  Pope urged priests to walk with people at their own pace, fostering trust to lead them to Christ. While acknowledging the timeless adoption of this pastoral style by countless saintly priests, he stressed its current urgency for credibility and relevance.

In conclusion, Pope Francis urged French seminarians to cultivate a strong, authentic, and personal relationship with Jesus. "Love Jesus more than anything," he advised, assuring that such love would empower them to navigate crises and difficulties, emerging victorious in their priestly journey.

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