Pope Francis opened an international seminar on the priesthood on February 17. The event takes place in the Vatican. During the first meeting of more than 500 bishops, priests, monks and laity, the priest gave an important speech.

Pope Francis called the priests to the order. At first he mentioned the words of John Paul II, who said: “The priest – like the Church – must deepen the awareness of the need to continually preach it.” He concluded the quote with a joke that could “rubbing his nose” at more than one cleric:

Francis laughed. Try to tell a bishop or priest today that he must preach himself.

Much is said today about crises of faith among priests. The Pope recalled his conversations with some priests. The priest asked them what they were doing before going to bed. It turns out that very few people pray, only eat, sleep and watch TV.

Many priestly crises stem precisely from the insufficiency of a prayer life, the absence of intimacy with the Lord, and in the reduction of spiritual life to ordinary religious practice – he instructed the assembled priests.

People don’t need ‘government officials’

Pope Francis has also stated that people today do not need “government officials.” or “experts in the sacred”. In his opinion, the priests of the faithful should be “shepherds in the image of Jesus.” He also referred to ordinary people, from whom priests are increasingly diverge:

I am sure that in order to re-understand the identity of the priesthood, it is necessary today to live in close relationship with the real life of the people, by their side, without any escape route. (…) But Jesus wants us to touch human misery, to touch the suffering body of others. The Pope expects us to abandon our search for personal or societal protection measures.

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