“Sexuality, affectivity, and relationships are dimensions of the person to be considered and understood, by both the Church and science, also in relation to socio-cultural challenges and changes,” he said.
“An open attitude and good witness allow the educator to ‘encounter’ the whole personality of the ‘called one,’ engaging his intelligence, emotions, heart, dreams, and aspirations.”
To achieve this outcome, seminary formators themselves must be growing daily “toward the fullness of Christ,” the pope said, so that the charity of Christ may be more clearly manifested in them.
“Seminarians and young people in formation should be able to learn more from your life than from your words; to be able to learn docility from your obedience, industriousness from your dedication, generosity with the poor from your sobriety and availability, fatherhood from your chaste and non-possessive affections. We are consecrated to serve the People of God, to take care of all, starting with the poorest,” Pope Francis told the priests.
“Suitability for ministry is tied to availability, joy, and generosity toward others. The world needs priests who are able to communicate the goodness of the Lord to those who have experienced sin and failure, priests who are experts in humanity … men who know how to listen to the cry of those who suffer.”
Courtney Mares is a Rome Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. A graduate of Harvard University, she has reported from news bureaus on three continents and was awarded the Gardner Fellowship for her work with North Korean refugees.
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