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Pope talks about joys, trials of the priesthood with Roman clergy

2013-09-16

On Monday morning, Pope Francis left his Vatican residence and made his way to Rome's St. John Lateran Basilica, to meet with Roman clergy. He was welcomed with a warm applause, before making his way into the Basilica, where local priests were already waiting for him. 


The atmosphere was relaxed, but during his speech, the Pope talked about the joys and trials of the priesthood. As an example he reflected on the time John Baptist was incarcerated. 

POPE FRANCIS 
"He was surrounded by the darkness of doubt. The same person who said 'This is the Son of God who takes away the sins of the world. I saw the Holy Spirit descend upon Him.' He was sure of it back then, but at that moment he doesn't understand a thing. He's amid the darkness of jail, the darkness of his heart and his soul.” 

During their meeting, the Pope agreed to answer some questions from the priests. The Pope also gave a person anecdote. He said he was very moved by a letter an older priest sent him, where he shared his feelings of fatigue. The Pope said the letter reminded him of John Paul II's encyclical titled Redemptoris Mater, or Mother of The Redeemer. The Pope said, Our Lady felt fatigue as well. 

POPE FRANCIS
"That fatigue came from seeing everything Jesus was dealing with. She was trying to make sense of it through the Word of the Lord. But everything seemed to be the opposite of what had been promised.” 

The meeting at the Basilica is quite symbolic, since it's the Cathedral church of the diocese of Rome. As the Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis is the head of the Basilica. 


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