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Clericalism rules when the spirit of prophecy is lost, Pope warns

December 16, 2013

When priests miss the spirit of prophecy, they lapse into clericalism, Pope Francis warned in a homily at Mass on Monday, December 16.

Commenting on the day’s Gospel, in which the Pharisees questioned Jesus’ authority, the Pontiff said that the Pharisee “didn’t understand the prophecies,” because they were not attentive to the Word of God. Instead, he remarked, “they had only their authority.”

True prophets listen carefully to the Word of God, the Pope continued. “God looks after his people by giving them prophets in the hardest times,” to encourage them, said Pope Francis. But if the spirit of prophecy is lost, the message of encouragement is lost as well.

“When there is no prophecy amongst the people of God, the emptiness that is created gets filled by clericalism,” the Pope said. Clerics rely on their own authority, rather than on the Word. And when clericalism becomes dominant, the Pope said, the Word of God is not clearly heard, and “true believers weep because they cannot find the Lord.”


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