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Pope Francis discusses ‘hemorrhage’ of religious vocations

January 30, 2017

Pope Francis spoke about the “hemorrhage” of vocations to the consecrated life during a January 28 address to members of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life.

The Congregation was hosting a meeting in Rome devoted to “fidelity and perseverance: intertwined responsibilities.”

Describing the current culture as “a change of era and not merely an era of change, in which it becomes difficult to take on serious and definitive commitments,” Pope Francis attributed the abandonment of vocations to several factors:

  • “the social and cultural context in which we move,” including a culture of the temporary, a “strong practical relativism,” and “a society in which economic rules substitute [for] moral ones”
  • youth culture, in which one finds “the search for success at any price, easy money and easy pleasure”
  • the “counter-testimony” that can be found in consecrated life

To address these factors, the Pope proposed evangelization, a greater attention to fraternal life, and the accompaniment of those with religious vocations.

“Although we must avoid any kind of accompaniment that creates dependencies, that protects, controls or infantilizes, we cannot resign ourselves to journeying alone; there is a need for close, frequent and fully adult accompaniment,” Pope Francis said. “All this will help ensure the continuous discernment that leads to discovering God’s will, to finding in everything what most pleases the Lord.”


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  • Posted by: Jerome - Jan. 30, 2017 6:27 AM ET USA

    Perhaps if the Pope wants to encourage vocations he should stop beating up on those who have them and perhaps he himself should stop encouraging the culture of "strong, practical relativism" he claims to decry.