Rome, Italy, Nov 11, 2016 / 10:43 am
For his last "Mercy Friday" during the Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis spent the afternoon visiting seven young men who have left the priesthood, as a sign of closeness and affection after the difficult decision they made.
Francis left his residence at 3:30 p.m. and traveled to the Ponte di Nona neighborhood on the eastern outskirts of Rome, where he met with seven families formed by young men who have left the priesthood in recent years.
According to a Nov. 11 communique from the Vatican, the Pope wanted "to offer a sign of closeness and affection to these young men who have made a choice not often shared by their brother priests and families."
After several years dedicated to carrying out priestly ministry in the parish, eventually "loneliness, misunderstanding and fatigue due to the great effort of pastoral responsibility put their initial choice of the priesthood in crisis."