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Make all welcome, shun clericalism, Pope tells Italian bishops

May 25, 2023

» Continue to this story on Vatican News

CWN Editor's Note: In a May 25 address to the Italian bishops’ conference, Pope Francis said that the Synod on Synodality should make the Church “more missionary and more prepared to evangelize today’s world.”

The Pope told the Italian prelates— who were concluding a meeting dedicated to preparation for the Synod— that they should recognize the potential of preparatory discussions in their dioceses and parishes, which he said provided a “unique spiritual experience of conversion and renewal.

The Pontiff encouraged the bishops to ensure that the discussions include the voices of people who become estranged from the Church, rather than restricting their focus to what he termed the “self-referential” Church. He repeated his oft-mentioned condemnation of clericalist attitudes, saying: “Clericalism is a perversion and a clerical bishop or priest is perverse, but a clericalist layman or laywoman are even worse.”

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