While it is true that the world is full of sin and sinful behaviour, priests must learn to scrutinise the “signs of the times” for new trends and attitudes that are good and healthy and holy, Pope Francis told priests from the Diocese of Rome.
While there is “moral conduct that we aren’t used to seeing,” such as the normalisation of living together before marriage, there also is a greater awareness of human rights, a push for tolerance and equality and appreciation for the values of peace and solidarity,” he said on 15th February.
“We should not be frightened of the difficulties, but discern the signs of the times, the things that come from the Spirit” and then “help with the others,” he said, according to RomaSette, the diocesan newspaper.
As is customary on the day after Ash Wednesday, Pope Francis spent the morning with the priests in the Basilica of St John Lateran, the Rome cathedral. The session began with a penitential liturgy and with the pope spending almost an hour hearing confessions.
Picture: Pope Francis holds his annual Lenten meeting with the priests of Rome parishes on 15th February. The meeting, occurring in Rome’s Basilica of St John Lateran, included prayer, confessions and a question-and-answer session with the pope. (CNS photo/Vatican Media).