- Jul 8, 2020
In remarks to newly appointed Catholic bishops during the last twelve months on Thursday, Pope Francis focused on the virtue of discernment, saying it “can’t be reduced to repeating formulas such as ‘high clouds send little rain’ to a concrete person, who’s often immersed in a reality that can’t be reduced to black and white.”
During an unexpected visit, Pope Francis met with novices of the Salesian order and offered some advice on vocations and discernment . The pope stressed that the criteria for selecting novices is that “they be normal” and added that “in the peripheries we must send the best!”
The Catholic Church has a cautious approach when it comes to recognizing Marian apparitions and the process can take even hundreds of years. The bishop on these occasions, such as those in Fatima, Portugal, must call for a commission of experts, theologians, canonists, psychologists, and doctors to help him determine the facts.
“I’m telling you this as a brother, father and friend. Please, shun ecclesial careerism. It is a plague. Avoid it,” Pope Francis said during an audience at the Vatican with students, faculty, staff and alumni of the Pontifical Spanish College of St. Joseph in Rome. “Do not forget this — the devil always comes in through the pocket, always,” he said.
“One thing is clear: Temptation is always present in the life of Simon Peter and temptation is always present in our lives. Moreover, without temptation, you cannot progress in faith. In the ‘Our Father,’ we ask for the grace to not fall but not to not be tempted,” Pope Francis told priests of the Diocese of Rome.
Pope Francis has said that “the devil is in action” on cases of clerical sexual abuse, that the image of the Virgin as a “superstar” is not Catholic, and that despite the decline of religious vocations in the West, he worries when he hears that new, “restorationist” congregations have many vocations.