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Be attentive to potential abuse of power in new religious communities, Pope tells Curial office (Vatican Press Office)

On December 11, Pope Francis addressed members of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life, who had gathered in Rome for their plenary assembly.

Emphasizing the importance of discerning and accompanying new religious communities, the Pope called for “attention to the founders, who sometimes tend to be self-referential, to feel that they are the sole custodians or interpreters of the charism, as if they were above the Church” and “attention to abuses of authority and power.”

The Pope also suggested that an absence of vocations in older religious communities is a punishment from God. “When God wants to annihilate a person, annihilate a people, or —let’s say —an institution, he makes it remain —says Malachi –’without roots and without buds.’ If we do not have this Deuteronomic memory and do not have the courage to take from it the sap to grow, we will not even have buds. A powerful curse: to be rootless and budless.”


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