Cardinal Filoni to Congolese priests: arm yourselves with a profound missionary spirit

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "Today, your ministry cannot be limited to the management of what has been acquired, but you must demonstrate creativity, and arm yourselves with a profound missionary spirit, to bring the Gospel in the middle of the sea and in depth, so that it penetrates all geographical, cultural and social areas of your Country ": this is the exhortation of the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Cardinal Fernando Filoni to the Congolese priests, whom he met on the last day of his visit in the African country, on Saturday, July 7. "Many of your fellow citizens are still waiting to receive the Good News of Salvation – the Cardinal recalled -. As I have already said to the Bishops gathered in the Episcopal Conference, the revival of the Mission ad gentes and in-depth evangelization of culture and mindset of your people are among the priorities of your Church." The Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in his speech stressed the importance for the priest to be in full communion with their Bishop, in a spirit of obedience, and to answer the call to holiness that comes from a priestly vocation, through the deep union with Christ, as the branches and the vine, leaving a prominent place for spiritual life. "The quality of the faithful of a Church depends on the quality of its priests. That is why it is not enough to preach the Gospel in word only, but we have to proclaim it through actions and in truth" underlined the Cardinal, calling for transparency in the administration of the economy regarding parishes and dioceses, and to hold a moral conduct and disciplinary exemplary: "be examples for your generosity at work and blameless in your behavior." Finally, Cardinal Filoni urged Congolese priests to keep "the sense of generosity" that should characterize their pastoral ministry alive: "It is not because of your merits that you have become priests. But it is a gift from the Lord to accept. This is not a personal project, but that of God, that you have to fulfill with generous and selfless commitment." (SL) (Agenzia Fides 10/7/2012)