Section from Pope’s interview on “Religious”
His Holiness Pope Francis is the first Roman Pontiff from a religious institute since the Camaldolese monk Gregory XVI, who was elected in 1831.
“What is the specific place of religious men and women in the church of today?”
“Religious men and women are prophets,” says the Pope. “They are those who have chosen a following of Jesus that imitates his life in obedience to the Father, poverty, community life and chastity. In this sense, the vows cannot end up being caricatures; otherwise, for example, community life becomes hell, and chastity becomes a way of life for unfruitful bachelors. The vow of chastity must be a vow of fruitfulness. In the church, the religious are called to be prophets in particular by demonstrating how Jesus lived on this earth, and to proclaim how the kingdom of God will be in its perfection. A religious must never give up prophecy. This does not mean opposing the hierarchical part of the church, although the prophetic function and the hierarchical structure do not coincide. I am talking about a proposal that is always positive, but it should not cause timidity. Let us think about what so many great saints, monks and religious men and women have done, from St. Anthony the Abbot onward. Being prophets may sometimes imply making waves. I do not know how to put it…. Prophecy makes noise, uproar; some say ‘a mess.’ But in reality, the charism of religious people is like yeast: prophecy announces the spirit of the Gospel.”
You can find the full text of the interview that His Holiness Pope Francis gave to the editor of La Civilta’ Cattolica at: