Pope at Chrism Mass: Clericalism begins with a desire for comfort without concern for others

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During the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday, in which priests renew their vows, Pope Francis usually preaches a profound homily dedicated to them.

This year, he spoke of Jesus' particular relationship with the crowds, demonstrated in the Gospel. The crowd that seeks and admires Him is not an anonymous group, but a like a flock giving themselves totally to Christ, without conditions.

“It contrasts with the small-mindedness of the disciples, whose attitude toward people verges on cruelty when they suggest to the Lord that He send them away, so that they can get something to eat. Here, I believe, was the beginning of clericalism: in this desire to be assured of a meal and personal comfort without any concern for the people.”

The pope said priests should not forget that they are part of that crowd. It is from the crowd that he came and that which he also must serve.

“Everyone of us has our own story. A little bit of memory would do us a lot of good. We must not forget that our evangelical models are those “people”, the “crowd” with its real faces, which the anointing of the Lord raises up and revives. We are not distributors of bottled oil. We have been anointed to anoint. We anoint by distributing ourselves, distributing our vocation and our heart.”

On Holy Thursday the Catholic Church recalls the institution of the priesthood. During the ceremony, the oils priests will use throughout the year to administer the sacraments are blessed.

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