Catholic World News

Church needs missionaries, not managers, Pope says

August 16, 2016

Reflecting on Christ’s words, “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing” (Lk. 12:49), Pope Francis called upon the faithful to be open to the fire of the Holy Spirit.

“If we open ourselves totally to the Holy Spirit, He will give us the audacity and fervor to proclaim to all Jesus and His consoling message of mercy and salvation,” the Pope told the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his August 14 Sunday Angelus address.

“More than ever, today, more than ever today, we need priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful, with the attentive gaze of the apostle, to be moved and to stand before hardships and material and spiritual poverty, characterizing the process of evangelization and of mission with the sounding rhythm of closeness,” he continued.

The Pope added:

I think with admiration especially of the many priests and religious, all over the world, who are dedicated to proclaiming the Gospel with great love and loyalty, often even at the cost of their lives. Their exemplary witness reminds us that the Church does not need bureaucrats and managers, but passionate missionaries, consumed by the ardor to bring the consoling words of Jesus and His regenerating grace to everyone.

If the Church does not receive this fire of the Holy Spirit, or doesn’t let it enter into herself, it becomes a cold or lukewarm Church, incapable of giving life, because it is made up of cold or lukewarm Christians.


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  • Posted by: bernie4871 - Aug. 18, 2016 1:07 PM ET USA

    True missioners from one Nation to others is a great sign of Faith and vitality. Its coming-about and continuance is certainly a sign of God's favor. Now we are faced with virtually the complete collapse of the missionary spirit in just the last 60 years throughout the West (certainly here in the U.S.). The only culture with missionary vitality is Africa. The West may protest Islam but, without The Faith, it has no coherent defense. No missioners is surely a portent and a challenge.

  • Posted by: rjbennett1294 - Aug. 16, 2016 5:26 PM ET USA

    Now I am more confused than ever. In January, the pope released a video ( in which he indicated his belief that all religions are more or less the same and that all lead people to God. Now he's calling for missionaries?