Home News Pope Francis calls for stronger community bonds and continuous learning among clergy 

Pope Francis calls for stronger community bonds and continuous learning among clergy 

Pope Francis urged priests to live within the community and face the inherent challenges of their pastoral duties during his address at the Plenary Assembly of the Dicastery for the Clergy at the Vatican. 

Emphasizing the need for ongoing formation, promotion of vocations, and the enhancement of the permanent diaconate, he highlighted the importance of not journeying alone in ministry.

Pope Francis acknowledged the priests’ dedicated service amidst the challenges of clericalism and spiritual worldliness. 

“I am well aware that the vast majority of priests devote themselves with great generosity and faith to the good of the holy People of God,” he said.

The Pope pointed out that the training received at seminary is not sufficient to navigate the complexities of modern society. 

He stressed the necessity for priests to engage in continuous learning and adaptation to respond effectively to new challenges and evangelization opportunities. 

“We are called to consolidate, strengthen, and develop what we have learned in the seminary,” he said.

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“Weaving a strong network of fraternal relationships is a priority task of ongoing formation,” he urged, adding that it is crucial for priests to feel “at home” within their communities.

The Pope also said that the decline in vocations has an impact on both the priesthood and the institution of marriage. 

He advocated for innovative methods to rejuvenate the Pontifical Work for Priestly Vocations to inspire young people toward a life of Christian service. 

“We cannot resign ourselves to the fact that for many young people, the prospect of a radical offer of life has disappeared from the horizon,” he said. 

Pope Francis discussed the need for further reflection on the permanent diaconate, particularly its role in charity and service to the poor. 

He encouraged the Dicastery to deepen its focus on developing this ministry, emphasizing its importance. “Accompanying these reflections and developments is a very important task of your Dicastary,” he said.

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