Pope Francis advised members of the Roman Curia on Monday morning at Mass in St Peter Basilica to practice mercy and be the epitome of Christ by always adopting mercy.
His words came during his homily on the Feast of the Chair of Peter and the Jubilee of Mercy for the Roman Curia and all Vatican offices.
Speaking to the world’s Catholic Cardinals, priests, bishops and laypeople, he told them to keep their minds and hearts “fixed on Jesus Christ, the beginning and the end of every action of the Church. He is the foundation and no one can establish something different. He is the rock upon which we must build.”
The down- to-earth Pope Francis reflecting on the pain of abuse said “Let no one feel ignored or mistreated when they encounter a member of the Roman Curia or staff working at the Vatican.
It is actually an abuse to ignore someone’s needs emotionally and make them feel worthless.
With all of the people they encounter each day, he said, “may no one feel neglected or mistreated,” and instead feel God’s attentive concern.
For those who are priests, the Pope said, they more than anyone else must model themselves after the Good Shepherd: taking care of his flock, seeking out the lost sheep and bringing healing to the sick and wounded.
Pope Francis also encouraged thousands of Vatican employees, to cultivate and practice a strong pastoral attitude within all Vatican work environments, “especially towards the people we meet every day”.
“We are called to be God’s collaborators,” he said, as they carry out their unique and valuable mission.
One of the priests, Jesuit Father Marko Rupnik addressing the gathering said “Every central church office, not just the Curia in Rome, risks the temptation of its administrators becoming too self-centered.”
“It is a terrible temptation,” he said, because it sets functional efficiency, the institution, the organizational structure and the individual above all else.
When people encounter someone who works for the Church, it is beautiful when they say, “you know, I saw people who were free, free from themselves,” generous, willing and available he said.