It’s not necessarily the fact that they are well compensated, but that they are compensated so well for being mercenaries.


Vatican City, 8 May 2013 (VIS) – “The men and women of the Church who are careerists and social climbers, who ‘use’ people, the Church, their brothers and sisters—whom they should be serving—as a springboard for their own personal interests and ambitions … are doing great harm to the Church.” This is what Pope Francis asserted in his address to the participants in the plenary assembly of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) whom he received in audience this morning.

The pontiff spoke to the sisters of obedience, poverty, and chastity: “Obedience as listening to God’s will, in the interior motion of the Holy Spirit authenticated by the Church, accepting that obedience also passes through human mediations. … Poverty, which teaches solidarity, sharing, and charity and which is also expressed in a soberness and joy of the essential, to put us on guard against the material idols that obscure the true meaning of life. Poverty, which is learned with the humble, the poor, the sick, and all those who are at the existential margins of life. Theoretical poverty doesn’t do anything. Poverty is learned by touching the flesh of the poor Christ in the humble, the poor, the sick, and in children.”



  1. All due credit to His Holiness for preaching and modeling virtue. Now, if only he would be equally aduous regarding doctrine and dogma.

    • Make that “ardent.”

    • LOL Mark, I expect the Pope imagines that the “faithful” already understand dogma and doctrine? But I expect he hopes as Pope that they firstly appreciate virtues such as Caritas, Obedience and Kindness! Armed with these be they Good Catholics, Good Christians or People of Good will then as doctrine confirms they will be quite ample to share in the Lords banquet!

      • The Three Theological Virtues are—as you know—Faith, Hope and Charity (Caritas, to quote you). Funny, I did not see “Obedience” in that list.

        In re “…the ‘faithful’ already understand dogma and doctrine…”: well, if the Pope actually imagines that, his imagination is vivid, indeed.

        I have often noted that “Blessed are the Clueless” is not one of the Beatitudes. BTW, that comment is aimed not at you, but at all those unformed “faithful” whose understanding of dogma and doctrine is a fiction.

  2. Thank you Mark I think?
    My use of Caritas (instead of Charity) was because we in the English speaking world often think Charity is about giving whereas the Latin Caritas is also more akin to Loving. Yes I know about splitting hairs but I wanted to say Loving but thought the Latin more splendid! Sorry it did not work then . ..
    Also You will know about Obedience as being part of Christian living? Hence Faith is nought if we are not Obedient to its statements. Hope could exist without Obedience but not in any Catholic Church structure? Ok Charity stands alone but is so far above the others that its hardly a fair contest.
    I also understand that the faithful hardly understand squat! The terrible fact that most (ala Man for All Seasons) would have snoozed through the Sermon on the Mount is not edifying but straw grabbing is not to be undone just because many folk are simple in their theology only thinking at weddings or funerals.
    I do expect however that Francis like his predecessors is aware of poverty in its varied forms so I am glad that he said what he did and expect he knows what-is occurring out in the wider world.

  3. “Sorry it did not work then . ..”

    You misunderstood me. As a Latin scholar and practitioner over many decades, I’m all for Caritas as the best name for communicating and understanding the Virtue. You are correct that “Charity”—as it is understood by most—falls short of the true meaning and all its nuance.

    • 😀

      • The principal at my parochial school was Sister Caritas. She exemplified caritas dura.

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