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Audience with priests engaged in youth pastoral ministry from the archdiocese of Barcelona, 28.01.2023

Today, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience a group of priests engaged in youth pastoral ministry from the archdiocese of Barcelona, Spain.

After handing out the text of the address prepared for the occasion, the Pope delivered an impromptu greeting to the participants in the audience.

The following is the greeting prepared by the Holy Father for the circumstance:


Greeting of the Holy Father

Dear brothers, thank you for your words. It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you here today, in this atmosphere of joy and celebration in which the clergy, around their pastor, come to the house of Peter to reaffirm their communion and revive their apostolic spirit.

The apostles' experience always has a dual aspect, personal and communal. They go together and we cannot separate them. We are indeed called individually, but always to be part of a larger group, to walk together, listening before speaking, to know how to place ourselves where it is appropriate, even in the middle or behind, not just in front.

Jesus calls to us to start out from our poverty, from our frailty. We must respond to this calling with an everlasting commitment to conversion. Let us reject careerism, the double life, and the search for worldly satisfaction, by embracing the cross and the mediations of the Church: sacraments, prayer life, asceticism, and so on. At the same time, we must be capable of mercy precisely because we are touched by the Lord’s mercy, not by giving lessons, but by bearing witness to an experience of intimacy with God.

We must seek brotherliness in all spheres of society, learn and teach to welcome all, to work with everyone, to look for solutions for consensus with a broad scope. We must never become entrenched, neither in the Christian group to which we belong, nor in the responsibility that has been entrusted to us, but live with a free spirit, in a healthy indifference.

May the Lord bless you and the Virgin Mary keep you, and do not forget to pray for me.