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Dear brothers and sisters,

    I am pleased to offer heartfelt good wishes for a blessed Christmas and a happy New Year to you and your co-workers, to the Papal Representatives, and in particular to those who in the past year have completed their service and retired.  Let us also remember all those who have gone home to God.  My thoughts and my gratitude go to you and to the members of your families.

    In Paus Franciscus - Toespraak
Professionaliteit, nederigheid en broederlijke liefde
Bij gelegenheid van de uitwisseling van de Kerstwensen met leden van de Romeinse Curie - Sala Clementina
(21 december 2013)
, I wanted to stress two important and inseparable aspects of the work of the Curia: professionalism and service, and I offered Saint Joseph as a model to be imitated.  Then, last year, as a preparation for the sacrament of Reconciliation, we spoke of certain temptations or "maladies" – the "catalogue of curial diseases" – which could affect any Christian, curia, community, congregation, parish or ecclesial movement.  Diseases which call for prevention, vigilance, care and, sadly, in some cases, painful and prolonged interventions.

    Some of these diseases became evident in the course of the past year, causing no small pain to the entire body and harming many souls.

    It seems necessary to state what has been – and ever shall be – the object of sincere reflection and decisive provisions.  The reform will move forward with determination, clarity and firm resolve, since Ecclesia semper reformanda.

    Nonetheless, diseases and even scandals cannot obscure the efficiency of the services rendered to the Pope and to the entire Church by the Roman Curia, with great effort, responsibility, commitment and dedication, and this is a real source of consolation.  Saint Ignatius taught that “it is typical of the evil spirit to instil remorse, sadness and difficulties, and to cause needless worry so as to prevent us from going forward; instead, it is typical of the good spirit to instil courage and energy, consolations and tears, inspirations and serenity, and to lessen and remove every difficulty so as to make us advance on the path of goodness.”  H. Ignatius van Loyola, Geestelijke Oefeningen, 315

    It would be a grave injustice not to express heartfelt gratitude and needed encouragement to all those good and honest men and women in the Curia who work with dedication, devotion, fidelity and professionalism, offering to the Church and the Successor of Peter the assurance of their solidarity and obedience, as well as their constant prayers.

    Moreover, cases of resistance, difficulties and failures on the part of individuals and ministers are so many lessons and opportunities for growth, and never for discouragement.  They are opportunities for returning to the essentials, which means being ever more conscious of ourselves, of God and our neighbours, of the sensus Ecclesiae and the sensus fidei.

    It is about this return to essentials that I wish to speak today, just a few days after the Church’s inauguration of the pilgrimage of the Holy Year of Mercy, a Year which represents for her and for all of us a pressing summons togratitude, conversion, renewal, penance and reconciliation.

    Christmas is truly the feast of God’s infinite mercy, as Saint Augustine of Hippo tells us: “Could there have been any greater mercy shown to us unhappy men than that which led the Creator of the heavens to come down among us, and the Creator of the earth to take on our mortal body?  That same mercy led the Lord of the world to assume the nature of a servant, so that, being himself bread, he would suffer hunger; being himself satiety, he would thirst; being himself power, he would know weakness; being himself salvation, he would experience our woundedness, and being himself life, he would die.  All this he did to assuage our hunger, alleviate our longing, strengthen our weaknesses, wipe out our sins and enkindle our charity”. H. Augustinus, Preken, Sermones. 207, 1: PL 38, 1043

    Consequently, in the context of this Year of Mercy and our own preparation for the coming celebration of Christmas, I would like to present a practical aid for fruitfully experiencing this season of grace.  It is by no means an exhaustive catalogue of needed virtues for those who serve in the Curia and for all those who would like to make their consecration or service to the Church more fruitful.

    I would ask the Heads of Dicasteries and other superiors to ponder this, to add to it and to complete it.  It is a list based on an acrostic analysis of the word Misericordia, with the aim of having it serve as our guide and beacon:

Document

Naam: TERUGKEREN NAAR DE ESSENTIE
Bij het uitwisselen van de Kerstwensen met het college van Kardinalen en overige leden van de Romeinse Curie, Kerst 2015
Soort: Paus Franciscus - Toespraak
Auteur: Paus Franciscus
Datum: 21 december 2015
Copyrights: © 2015, Libreria Editrice Vaticana / Radio Vaticana
Voorlopig Engelstalige versie
Bewerkt: 28 oktober 2020

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