Scrutinise candidates for priesthood, says Pope


Pope Francis spoke last Friday about the importance of scrutinising candidates for the priesthood to ensure that the men who reach ordination are well-formed and mature.
In a meeting with seminary formators from the Milan archdiocese, the Pope said that the process of accompanying those discerning vocations to the priesthood required sensitivity and expert skill.
“When discerning whether or not a person can embark on a vocational journey, it is necessary to scrutinise and evaluate him in an integral way: to consider his way of experiencing affections, relationships, spaces, roles, responsibilities, as well as his frailties, fears, and imbalances,” he said.
“The whole journey must initiate processes aimed at forming mature priests and consecrated persons, who are ‘experts in humanity and closeness’ and not ‘officials of the sacred’.”
Pope Francis underlined that each man brought with him a unique family, personal and spiritual history to the seminary.
“Sexuality, effectivity and relationships are dimensions of the person to be considered and understood, by both the church and science, also in relation to socio-cultural challenges and changes,” he said.
“An open attitude and good witness allow the educator to ‘encounter’ the whole personality of the ‘called one,’ engaging his intelligence, emotions, heart, dreams, and aspirations.”
To achieve this outcome, seminary formators themselves must be growing daily “towards the fullness of Christ” the Pope
said, so that the charity of Christ may be more clearly manifested in them.
“Seminarians and young people in formation should be able to learn more from your life than from your words,” he said.
“To be able to learn docility from your obedience, industriousness from your dedication, generosity with the poor from your sobriety and availability, fatherhood from your chaste and non-possessive affections.
“We are consecrated to serve the People of God, to take care of all, starting with the poorest.”

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