By Sarah Mac Donald - 09 March, 2014
In his address to a two-day symposium organised by Religious congregations at Rome’s Pontifical Antonianum University, the Pontiff said theoretical poverty was not helpful.
He said what was needed was a “poverty that is learnt by touching the flesh of the poor Christ, in the humble, in the poor, in the sick, in children.”
The symposium, entitled, ‘The Management of Church Goods of the Institutes of Consecrated Life and of the Societies of Apostolic Life at the Service of Humanity and the Mission of the Church’ is aimed at helping religious orders and institutes best use their properties for the greater good.
Pope Francis described modern culture as “characterised by significant changes and progress in many areas” and yet many times still having “an economy of exclusion.”
“Be again today, for the Church and for the world, the outposts of attention to all the poor and to all those in misery, material, moral, and spiritual, as (those) overcoming all selfishness in the logic of the gospel that teaches us to trust in the providence of God,” the Pope exhorted Religious.
Those in religious life “are always a prophetic voice and vivid testimony to the innovation that is Christ, conforming to him, who became poor, enriching us with his poverty,” he said.
Religious should be active witnesses of the “logic of the gift,” having given their lives entirely to Christ and the Church.
“This poverty is loving solidarity, sharing and charity, and is expressed in sobriety, in the pursuit of justice and joy of the essential, in order to guard yourselves against material idols that obscure the true meaning of life,” the Pope commented.
“It is necessary to be vigilant in ensuring that the goods of Institutes are administered with caution and transparency, that they are protected and preserved, combining the charismatic-spiritual dimension with the economic dimension of efficiency,” he warned.