Pope Francis: Rigid priests are a manifestation of clericalism

Pope Francis Thursday urged a group of Italian seminarians to avoid rigidity, which, he said, lacks humanity, and encouraged them to ask God for the gift of docility.

“Clericalism is a perversion of the priesthood: it is a perversion. And rigidity is one of the manifestations,” the pope said June 10.

“When I find a rigid seminarian or young priest, I say ‘something bad is happening to this one on the inside.’ Behind every rigidity, there is a serious problem, because rigidity lacks humanity.”

/ Vatican Media.
/ Vatican Media.

Francis spoke about the qualities of a good seminarian and priest in a meeting with the students, rector, and formators of the Pius XI regional pontifical seminary, located in Ancona, central Italy.

The seminary, he said, should not distance its students from reality, from dangers, and from others, “but, on the contrary, make you become closer to God and to your brothers.”

“Within the walls of the seminary, expand the boundaries of your heart — the expanded heart — extend them to the whole world,” he said, “be passionate about what ‘draws near,’ what ‘opens,’ what ‘brings together.’”

/ Vatican Media.
/ Vatican Media.

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