Popes Francis Speech- compiled from the net.
Pope Francis on Monday used an annual pre-Christmas meeting with the cardinals and bishops of the Vatican bureaucracy, normally an exchange of good wishes and blessings to issue a scathing critique of them, warning against 15 separate "diseases" in their work and attitudes.
Saying he wanted to prepare them all including himself to make "a real examination of conscience" before Christmas, Francis said while the Vatican bureaucracy was called to "always improve and grow in communion," it was also prone to "disease, malfunction, and infirmity" like every human institution."I believe it will help us [to make] a 'catalog' of diseases to help us prepare for the sacrament of reconciliation, which will be a good step for all of us to prepare for Christmas," Pope Francis said.Many of the 15 diseases given by Francis were frank and blunt: a feeling of indispensability like a "rich fool"; of having a "spiritual Alzheimer's" that makes a person dependent on the present; of living an "existential schizophrenia" of double lives that create "parallel worlds"; and a "terrorism of gossip" that sows discord and that amounts to "cold-blooded murder" of friends and colleagues.
Before listing the diseases, Francis likened the Vatican bureaucracy, known as the Roman Curia, to the Catholic idea of the Mystical Body of Christ the notion that all Catholics are connected together through Jesus Christ as one body."The Curia is called to improve, to always improve and grow in communion, holiness and wisdom to fully realize its mission," he said. "Yet it, like everybody, like every human body, is exposed to disease, malfunction, and infirmity.""Diseases are more frequent in our life of the Curia," he said. "They are diseases and temptations that weaken our service to the Lord."Francis' speech to the Vatican bureaucracy comes as the pope has been preparing a reform of its functioning over the past months, appointing a Council of nine cardinals to advise him on how best to change the Curia. While that reform has yet to be announced, it seems to be drawing closer to fruition, with reports of coming mergers or downsizing of Vatican offices and staff.
The pope's list of diseases may show just how in need of reform the Vatican is. As long as it is colorful and frank, the list paints a picture of an institution full of gossip, backstabbing and lack of contact with the reality lived by most Catholics around the world. His Excellence Francis started his list of diseases Monday by criticizing those who feel immortal, immune or indispensible in their work. He said such people are like "the rich fool," the person mentioned in Jesus' parable in Luke's Gospel who stores grain but does not glorify God. The feeling of indispensability, Francis said, "often stems from pathology of power, the 'complex of the elect.' "That disease, the pope said, "is the narcissism that looks passionately on its own image and does not see the image of God stamped on the face of others, especially the weakest and most in need.""The antidote to this epidemic is the grace to feel as sinners and say with all the heart: 'We are useless servants. We have done how much we had to do,' “he said. Identifying a disease of those who "possess a heart of stone," Francis said some "lose the inner serenity, vivacity and boldness and hide under papers becoming 'practical machines' and not 'men of God.' "
"It's dangerous to lose the human sensitivity necessary to make us weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice," he said. "It is the disease of those who lose 'the feelings of Jesus' because their hearts, with the passage of time, harden and become unable to unconditionally love the Father and the neighbor."Moving next to warn against a "spiritual Alzheimer's," Francis said some forget the "story of salvation" and lose their personal history with the Lord, the "first love."
"It is a progressive decline of the spiritual faculties that in a longer or shorter period of time ... making them unable to carry out any independent activity, living a state of absolute dependence on his often imaginary views," said the pope."We see it in those who have lost the memory of their encounter with the Lord," he said. "In those who are completely dependent on their 'present' ... in those who build walls around themselves and habits becoming, more and more, slaves of idols that they have carved their own hands."Identifying what he called an "existential schizophrenia," Francis then warned against those who "live a double life, the fruit of hypocrisy typical of the mediocre and the progressive spiritual vacuum that degrees or academic qualifications cannot fill.""They create like this their own parallel world, where they put aside everything that they teach strictly to others and begin to live a hidden life," he said. "The conversion is urgent and indispensable for this very grave disease."
Labeling a disease of "chatter, murmurings and gossip," Francis said such a disease "starts simply, maybe just for a chat and takes hold of the person making him a 'sower of discord' [like Satan], and in many cases 'cold-blooded murderer' of the fame of their colleagues and confreres."
"It is the disease of cowardly people that not having the courage to speak directly talk behind their backs," Francis said. "Brothers, let us look out for the terrorism of gossip!"
Speaking of those who "deify superiors," Francis warned against officials who "are courting superiors, hoping to get their benevolence.""They are victims of careerism and opportunism, they honor the people and not God," the pope said. "They are people who live the service thinking only what they need to get and not what they must give." "This disease may also affect the superiors when courting some of their employees to get their submission, loyalty and psychological dependence, but the end result is a real complicity," he continued.
Warning against a "funereal face," Francis said some think that in order to be serious, "they need to paint the face of melancholy, severity and treat others -- especially those deemed inferior with stiffness, hardness and arrogance." "In reality, the theatrical severity and sterile pessimism are often symptoms of fear and insecurity about himself," the pope said. "The apostle must strive to be a polite person, calm, enthusiastic and cheerful who conveys joy wherever he is. A heart full of God is a happy heart that radiates with joy and infects all who are around him. You can see it right away!"
"Don't lose that joyful spirit, full of humor, even self-deprecating, that makes us amiable people," said Francis, who said he says a prayer attributed to British St. Thomas More every day for this purpose. Identifying "closed circles" in the Vatican, Francis said some create groups "where membership in the little group becomes stronger than that of the body and, in some situations, to Christ himself.""Although this disease always begins with good intentions," said the pope, over time it "enslaves members becoming 'a cancer' that threatens the harmony of the body and causes so much harm -- scandals -- especially to our smallest brothers."
"The self-destruction or 'friendly fire' of fellow soldiers is the sneakiest danger," Francis said. "It is the evil that strikes from within, and as Christ says: 'Every kingdom divided against it is brought to desolation.' "The rest of Francis' list of diseases: Being "excessively busy" and not taking time for rest. Excessive planning of functionalizing or trying to "close or direct the freedom of the Holy Spirit" Bad coordination, like an orchestra that produces noise instead of music: "When the foot tells the hand, 'I don't need you,' or the hand tells the head 'I'm in charge' ";
· Rivalry and vainglory: "When one's appearance, the color of one's vestments or honorific titles become the primary objective of life". Indifference toward the needs of others: "When, out of jealousy or guile, you feel joy at seeing another fall rather than lifting them and encourage them". Accumulation: "When the apostle tries to fill an existential emptiness in his heart by accumulating material goods, not because he needs them but because he'll feel more secure";
Worldly profit and exhibitionism: "It's the sickness of those who insatiably try to multiply their powers and to do so are capable of calumny, defamation and discrediting others, even in newspapers and magazines, naturally to show themselves as being more capable than others
The Family Apostolate in the Mission
In the Old Testament Israelites were nomads. Their way of life especially their understanding of the family in a nomadic context can help us gain an insight as we organise our family apostolate, a key field of action in our ministry of evangelisation. The Church documents remind us the family is the Domestic Church. It is within the family that faith is nurtured and helped to grow. The First African Synod stressed the fact the future of the Church is in the Family. It is therefore imperative to put up a clear family apostolate in our missions if we wish to have proper foundations of faith and make durable impact in what we are doing. The Synod on the Word of God affirms that with the proclamation of the Word of God, the Church reveals to the Christian Families their true identity, what it is and what it must be in accordance with the Lord’s plan. Hence, for Quality Life in our Families, the Word of God has to be a constant source of inspiration and guidance.
In the Old Testament, the most appropriate word to describe the family is BET AB, the father’s house. This designation included the father, the wife and the children. However, the term did not limit the family to this small nuclear entity. BET AB included also all the dependent relatives, the slaves, the servants and their families too. The BET AB of Abraham for example included Sarah, Isaac, Hagar the slave girl and Ishmael her son, the brother Lot and his family, his slaves and servants and their families. The BET AB was therefore composed of several nuclear families. Actually, the father’s house comprised of the whole tribe. The fact that slaves and servants, often captured during raids in the neighbouring tribes, were corporate members of this family meant that the BET AB was not limited within the tribal boundaries only.
It is important to underline that in Israel the socio-economic and theological realms were bound together and converged on a focal point of the family.
In the social field, a family was to assure that justice was done to another member of the family who had suffered an injustice. An elderly and economically able member of the family was supposed to take the family of a deceased brother. Once a poor member of the family was being forced to give up his land because of poverty, he could appeal to another member of the family to redeem the land of the BET AB. If another member of the family was forced into slavery because of debts, only a blood relative could buy him back.
Theologically, the family in Israel was of pivotal importance to Israel’s relationship with God. It was in the family that faith in one God was handed down from one generation to another. It was in the family that the faithfulness to the covenant and to the TORAH, the Law of Moses, was to be observed. It was in the family that the Sacred History of Salvation, the Divine intervention into the lives of the people was narrated and kept alive. This explains why there is a strong concern for the family in the Law and the Prophets. The severe penalty for breaking the commandments on the honour to parents, on adultery and on coveting the neighbour’s wife aimed at preserving the unity, integrity and harmony of the family.
The strong sense of hospitality presented in the Old Testament was guided by this broad understanding of the meaning of the family. But the real unifying factor among the Israelites was the common faith in one God. It was this common faith that brought together the twelve tribes of Israel into one single people, one single BET AB, one family. This collective spiritual experience of the people of Israel teaches that faith unites and brings people together; a common faith creates a strong sense of a large family of believers, a sense of a God fearing nation!