Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

In a de-Christianized world, priests should be pillars of faith, Pope Francis says

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

Priests should strive after a strong relationship with Christ, beginning in seminary, in order to be the guides in faith the de-Christianized society needs, Pope Francis said Monday.

Pope Francis

Pope Francis


By Hannah Brockhaus
Catholic Online (
12/9/2019 (1 month ago)

Published in Living Faith


Vatican City, (CNA) - Priests should strive after a strong relationship with Christ, beginning in seminary, in order to be the guides in faith the de-Christianized society needs, Pope Francis said Monday.

To seminarians and priests from northern Italy Dec. 9, he said: "You are called to be evangelizers in your region, also marked by de-Christianization."

"Those who are more exposed to the cold wind of uncertainty or religious indifference need to find in the person of the priest that robust faith which is like a torch in the night and like a rock to which to cling," he stated.

A strong faith, the pope said, "is cultivated above all in a personal relationship, heart to heart, with the person of Jesus Christ." In the seminary, candidates for the priesthood should evaluate their actions "in reference to Christ."

Pope Francis met at the Vatican with seminarians and priests of the Pontifical Regional Flaminio Seminary in Bologna.

He encouraged men studying for the priesthood to focus on their relationship with Christ while in seminary, which he called a "'house of prayer,' where the Lord again calls 'his people' to 'a secluded place' to live a strong experience of meeting and listening."

To become a priest, the Church requires a long period of formation, he noted, underlining the aspects of prayer, study, and communion.

Study is an important part of the foundation of formation of future priests, also in its communal aspect, such as sharing lessons and studying with fellow students, Pope Francis argued: "The commitment to study, even in the seminary, is clearly personal, but it is not individual."

He said for priests, charity and fraternity should go hand-in-hand. "A fraternity increasingly impregnated with the apostolic form, and enriched by the traits proper to a diocese, that is, by those peculiar characteristics of the people of God and of the saints, especially of holy priests, of a particular Church."

Francis also spoke about four attitudes of "closeness" every diocesan priest should strive after: closeness to God in prayer, closeness to his bishop, closeness to his brother priests, and closeness to the people of God.

"If one of these is missing," he said, "the priest will not function and will slowly slip into the perversion of clericalism or into rigid attitudes."

"Where there is clericalism there is corruption, and where there is rigidity, under rigidity, there are serious problems," he stated.


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'

Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.