The pope on Tuesday reprimanded representatives of the Chilean Catholic Church for being too haughty and elitist and called on them to “transform everything” to cope with the haemorrhage of the faithful, during a long-awaited speech at the cathedral of Santiago.
Francis was not tender in front of the Chilean clergy whom he judges obviously frozen in reflexes of an old time, too haughty and removed from the faithful, in a catholic country where the secularization is galloping.
“We are not superheroes who, from their height, descend to meet + + mortals,” he said, criticizing an “elitist” attitude.
On the contrary, the people want “pastors, consecrated persons, who have compassion, who know how to reach out, who know how to stop before the person on the ground”.
In this respect, priests should not handle “reproach and condemnation” or make “monologues” in a vacuum, marked by “apathy and disillusionment,” he said.
The pope – who was long a street pastor crisscrossing the inner city of Buenos Aires – regularly calls for the ban on this “clericalization”, which consists of not listening to the faithful and being too rigid.
“A Church with wounds is able to understand the wounds of today’s world,” he said.
Faced with the bishops then meeting in small committee, the pope was even harder in his remarks, calling for a mini-revolution against the hemorrhage of the faithful.
“Lay people are not our workers, nor our employees. They should not repeat like + parrots + what we tell them, “the pope said.
We must “transform everything so that habits, styles, timetables, language and all ecclesial structures become an adequate channel for the evangelization of Chile more than for ecclesiastical self-preservation,” added the Argentine pope.
Before facing bishops, priests, religious, consecrated and seminarians gathered in the cathedral, he assured to follow “very closely” the action of the Catholic Church to overcome the crisis of confidence sparked by scandals. pedophile abuse by members of the Chilean clergy.
“I know the pain caused by the abuse of minors and I am very close to what we are doing to overcome this serious and painful harm,” he said, before the end of ‘afternoon.
Welcomed by shouts of enthusiasm in a cathedral full to crack, Francis spoke about the pain of the victims and their families “who saw betrayed the confidence they had placed in the ministers of the Church”.
But he also speaks of “the suffering of the ecclesial communities” under the blow of a generalized “suspicion”.
“I know that sometimes you have been insulted in the subway or walking down the street, that being dressed as priests in many places is expensive,” he said.
The Pope asked them “to have the courage to ask forgiveness”.