Palermo, Italy, Sep 15, 2018 / 15:03 pm
During a day trip to Sicily Saturday, Pope Francis told priests and religious to fight their vices and strive to live a consistent witness of morality.
“One cannot live a double morality: one for the people of God and another in their own home,” the pope told a group of priests, religious and seminarians in Palermo, Italy, Sept. 15.
“No, the witness is only one. The testimony of Jesus always belongs to him. And for his love [the priest] undertakes a daily battle against his vices and against all alienating worldliness.”
He referred to the room of Bl. Pino Puglisi, who was assassinated by the Mafia 25 years ago, saying it stands “in genuine simplicity. It is the eloquent sign of a life consecrated to the Lord, who does not seek consolations and glory from the world.”
People look for simplicity in priests and in consecrated men and women. He said: “People are shocked not when they see that the priest ‘slips,’ is a sinner, repents and goes on… People’s scandal is when they see worldly priests, with the spirit of the world.”
People are scandalized, he continued, when they see a priest who is like “an executive,” rather than a pastor. “And this puts it right in your head and in your heart: shepherds yes, executives no!”
In the meeting, the pope also discussed clericalism, stating that clericalism is to think the Church is “above the world,” when the Church is in fact “inside the world, to make it ferment, like leaven in the dough.”
“For this reason, dear brothers and sisters, every form of clericalism must be banned. It is one of the most difficult perversions to remove today, clericalism.”