There are a number of serious ies in the Catholic Church. In the three-hour conversation with religious superiors, Pope Francis spared no question.
Pope Francis increasingly relies on free conversations behind closed doors. This is the new practice in the so-called "ad limina" visits, in which bishops report on the situation of the Church in their country. But other meetings often include casual question-and-answer sessions with the head of the church. So also on 25. November 2016, when Francis was a participant in the 88th General Assembly.General Assembly of the Association of Superiors General received at the Vatican.
Religious superiors questioned the pope about abuse cases or corruption in the Catholic Church. What he answered can now be read: Jesuit Antonio Spadaro transcribed the three-hour conversation for the 4.000. Ie of the Jesuit magazine "Civilta Cattolica" to be published on Saturday. Journalists received the galley proof already on Thursday.
Caution in the admission to religious orders
On the subject of child abuse, Francis accordingly said, "If we are not convinced that it is a disease, we will not be able to solve the problem well." He urged caution in accepting people into religious orders. The "affective maturity" of the candidates must always be ensured. In the case of rejections elsewhere, detailed information about the reasons should be obtained. Sexual abuse often has a history, he said, with later perpetrators often having been victims of sexual violence themselves in the past. "This is how the abuse of the future is sown, it is devastating."
Problems in the Vatican he also addressed. "There is corruption in the Vatican," he said, without elaborating. Elsewhere, he explained, many problems are related to finances. "The problems come when you reach into your pockets." He was thinking, for example, of the alienation of funds. Poverty, however, is the "marrow" of the Church's life.
Resolve unholy climate of secularization
Those who manage Church funds must not be "personally attached to money," the pope said. It would also have to be checked with banks that invested these funds: Church funds should never be invested in such a way that they flow into arms trafficking.
The Pope also spoke about inner-church secularization. In some "structures of the Church" there is a "secular and sovereign climate". "You don't have to become a cardinal at all to feel like a prince – it's enough to be clerical. This is among the worst things in the organization of the Church."Religious can help resolve this "unholy climate" of secularization.
Growth in discernment
Francis likewise commented on the October 2018 Synod of Bishops, which is about youth, faith and "vocational discernment". He stressed that the Church must pay more attention to the criterion of "discernment" in the "formation of young people for life" and especially of candidates for the priesthood. It said this is currently one of the biggest problems in priestly formation.
"We are used to formulas in this area, to black and white, but not to the shades of gray in life. But what counts is life, not formulas." That's why it's important to "grow in discernment," the pope said. "Black and white logic" leads only to "abstraction"; discernment, on the other hand, consists in "proceeding in the gray of life according to the will of God". Better than meetings with young people, he said, is careful listening and active involvement, such as in social projects. "Young people find the Lord in action."
Testify to the gospel
Francis called the lack of new blood in many Catholic religious orders in the West worrisome. Sometimes the pastoral care of vocations "does not give answers to the expectations of the young people". He dampened hopes that new spiritual communities could help here. The Holy Spirit is not always behind it. "When I hear that there are a particularly large number of vocations in one congregation, I worry". He advised to testify to the gospel "without sedatives".
The tradition-rich Jesuit magazine "Civilta Cattolica," which reported the conversation in its 4.The Pope, who himself belongs to the Jesuit order, praised the publication of the first edition of the "Boffo" magazine in Italy on Thursday in the Vatican as "ever more open to the world". In the future, the magazine will also appear in English, French, Spanish and Korean.