“…In this week when we celebrated the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, I had Pope Francis on my mind. It is certainly hard to keep up with all he is saying. After all, when the Pope identifies the two-fold crisis of the loneliness of the elderly and the unemployment of the young as the most pressing problems facing the world and Church, we have to take notice.
As we know, we deal with serious issues in our world today – war, poverty, abortion, migration and threats to the family. Yet, our Holy Father specifically references the loneliness of the elderly and youth unemployment. Perhaps these issues are proxies for Pope Francis, when he really is addressing hopelessness, the cancer of despair that is eating away at the world today.”
“The Pope’s treatment of these conditions seems to be proximity – that we must touch the wounds, or in his reference to the Sacred Scriptures, we must have “the smell of the sheep.” He is challenging us all. However, I think he is especially speaking to us, who are priests, to shed some of those comforts that accrue in our life and be closer and more available to the people of God. In doing so, we might better identify with their worry and suffering.”
Read the full text of the column on The Tablet website.