Pope Francis knows that, in the words of Blessed Manuel Domingo y Sol, "formation of the clergy is the key to the harvest in all the fields of God’s glory."
Last year, the magazine Civiltá Cattolica published an inisightful article, "Awaken the World," in which Pope Francis gives his views on priestly formation. Here are Pope Francis’s ten guiding principles, in his own words, as to preparing young men for the priesthood.
1. The formation [of future priests] is a work of art.
2. The phantasm that we have to fight is the image of religious life understood as a refuge and consolation in the face of a difficult and complex ‘outside’ world.
3. We have to form their hearts. Otherwise, we create little monsters.
4. And afterwards, these little monsters form the People of God.
5. We must conquer the tendency to clericalism, […] one of the causes of the People of God’s "lack of maturity and Christian freedom."
6. If the seminary is too large, it is necessary to separate it into communities with formators who are able to truly accompany [the seminarians].
7. Formation shouldn’t be oriented only towards personal growth, but also towards its final goal: the People of God.
8. It is necessary to form people who will be witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus.
9. The formator has to keep in mind that the person in formation will be called to care for the People of God.
10. In short: we don’t need to form administrators, but rather fathers, brothers, and companions on the journey.
Article originally published by Vocación y Actualidad