Vatican City, Feb 27, 2020 / 13:00 pm
In a message Thursday, Pope Francis criticized placing so much importance on Church programs that the essential teachings of the faith are lost. The pope also said a priest's agreement with such initiatives should not be the measure of his ministry.
"The worship of initiatives is replacing the essential: one faith, one baptism, one God the Father of all. Adherence to initiatives risks becoming the yardstick of communion," the pope said, in a message read aloud to the priests of the Diocese of Rome Feb. 27.
Pope Francis was scheduled to deliver the speech in person at the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, but decided to remain close to the Vatican after feeling unwell, the Holy See spokesman, Matteo Bruni, said Thursday.
Instead, Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, vicar general of the Diocese of Rome, read the speech on the pope's behalf.