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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis in meeting with bishops: No journalists? So I can speak freely

It's been two years since Pope Francis met with the Italian Bishop's Conference due to the pandemic. 

The 74th General Assembly of the Italian Bishops' Conference was held at a hotel in Rome, and not in the Vatican as is usually the case.

"Are there journalists?"
"I think no, there are no journalists. There is only us, Holiness".
"Good, then I can speak freely".

The Pope opened the meeting by laying out three areas of work he wanted to discuss. The first, the progress made in reforming ecclesiastical tribunals, which he said he was pleased with. Secondly, seminaries; he said that the formation of seminarians is not something to be taken lightly.

"Now we face a very grave danger: to err in the formation and mishandle the admissions of seminarians. We have often seen seminarians who seemed good but rigid, and rigidity is not a sign of a good spirit. We later realize that there are bigger problems behind that.”

The third point of discussion has been the recent focus of Francis' papacy: synodality.

"The synod has to start from the bottom up, from small communities, small parishes, and it's going to require patience, it's going to require work, it is going to require people to speak up, to bring out the wisdom of the people of God."

The Church in Italy will hold a national synod of bishops in the coming months.