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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis: “Worldly priests are nothing more than pagans made clerics”


On Holy Thursday, Pope Francis processed from the back of St. Peter's Basilica to celebrate Chrism Mass, in which he blesses the sacred oils to be used in the diocese of Rome throughout the year. 

Each year, Pope Francis directs his homily on Holy Thursday to the priests who renew their vows on this day.

This year, he described three forms of “hidden idolatry” that prevent priests from fully living out their vocation, the first of which is what he calls spiritual worldliness. 

POPE FRANCIS
It is a proposition for life, a culture of the ephemeral, a culture of appearances, of makeup.
A worldly priest is nothing more than a pagan made a cleric.

The Pope then laid out two other forms of priestly idolatry: being overly concerned with numbers and results, and an obsession with functionalism that closes priests to God's will and mystery. 

POPE FRANCIS
The priest with a functionalist mindset is nourished by his own ego. In functionalism, we put aside adoring the Father in the small and big things of our lives, and we pride ourselves on the effectiveness of our own plans.

After listening to the Pope, the priests present stood to renew the vows taken at their ordination.

The sacred oils were then brought forth to be blessed. 

The three vessels contain the oil of the sick, the oil of the catechumens, and the chrism, which is used in baptisms, the ordinations of priests and bishops, and the consecrations of churches and altars.

A deacon mixed balsam with the pure olive oil to produce the chrism. The Pope then breathed on the chrism before saying the blessing in union with the bishops and cardinals present.

After the Mass, the oils then processed down the nave of St. Peter's Basilica, while Pope Francis exited from the Basilica's rear, to prepare for a weekend filled with ceremonies at the Vatican ahead of Easter.

JM