View From Rome

View from Rome

23 June 2016 | by Christopher Lamb


Rooting out clericalism is close to Pope Francis’ heart. He wants priests who serve people, rather than self-serving prelates who, as he puts it, “strut around like peacocks”.

It’s a problem that has to be tackled from the start of a priest’s training. And it will be one of the key issues to be addressed in a new document being prepared by the Vatican.

Archbishop Jorge Patrón Wong, the man in charge of seminaries at the Congregation for the Clergy, is working on the text. He sent a first draft to Bishops’ Conferences around the world, and is currently considering their feedback. The part-Chinese Mexican archbishop was brought to Rome by Francis to take up his current job and, like the Pope, he lives in the Casa Santa Marta, the Vatican’s guesthouse and residence for clergy. Formerly in change of the Latin-America-wide organisation for seminaries, Wong has called for a more “human-centred” priestly formation. 

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