The Holy Father, Pope Francis has described ecclesial careerism as a plague which must be avoided by those who want to give their lives to God. He therefore called on Seminarians studying in Rome to avoid this plague and shun worry-free, comfortable life with attachment to money and an ambitious heart yearning for honours.

Pope Francis gave the admonition recently, during an audience with the students of the Pontifical Spanish College of St Joseph in Rome; as part of the activities marking the 125th anniversary of the College.

According to the Pope: “Everything hinges on loving the Lord with all of one's heart, soul, mind and strength, he said, citing the Gospel of Mark (12:30). That is what determines whether a person will be able to say "yes" to Jesus or turn one's back on him like the rich young man did in the Gospels, he added.

Pope Francis continued: "You cannot settle for leading an orderly and comfortable life that lets you live without worry unless you feel the need to cultivate a spirit of poverty rooted in the heart of Christ; adding that priests must have "an appropriate relationship with the world and earthly goods" if they are to gain authentic freedom as children of God”.

The Pope told the seminarians that Priestly formation cannot depend solely on academic formation, which breeds "all the ideologies that infect the church with every type of clerical academicism. "He added: “Studies must intertwine academic, spiritual, community and apostolic formation all together, and when one of these four legs is missing, he said, "formation begins to limp and the priest ends up paralyzed."

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