Pope to Korean Bishops: Don't Be Tempted by Worldly Mentality

Role Is to Guard Flock, Give Hope in Midst of Secularized Society

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In the second discourse of his apostolic visit to South Korea, Pope Francis has urged Korean bishops to remember and draw on past graces as well as safeguard hope in Christ.

Addressing the bishops gathered at the seat of the Korean Episcopal conference in Seoul this afternoon, Francis said: ”As pastors, you are responsible for guarding the Lord’s flock. You are guardians of the wondrous works which he accomplishes in his people.”

He stressed the two central aspects of the task of ministering to God’s people: “to be guardians of memory” and “guardians of hope.”

Yet, the Holy Father warned, carrying out the Church’s life and ministry, in a “prosperous, but increasingly secularized and materialistic society,” poses challenges.

“In such circumstances,” he said, “it is tempting for pastoral ministers to adopt not only effective models of management, planning and organization drawn from the business world, but also a lifestyle and mentality guided more by worldly criteria of success, and indeed power,” rather than “by the criteria which Jesus sets out in the Gospel.”

He urged the bishops to “reject this temptation in all its forms,” adding this “spiritual and pastoral worldliness stifles the Spirit, replaces conversion by complacency, and, in the process, dissipates all missionary fervor.”

The Pope encouraged them in their efforts to «build up the faithful in Korea in unity, holiness and zeal,» and reminded them that «memory and hope inspire us and guide us toward the future.»

Being a guardian of memory not only requires “remembering and treasuring the graces of the past,” but it also means “drawing from them the spiritual resources to confront with vision and determination the hopes, the promise and the challenges of the future.”

Being a guardian of hope, he continued, means sharing that hope in God’s grace and mercy that inspired the martyrs and displaying it through helping those in need, the migrants, the poor.

“If we neglect the memory, the wisdom and the experience of the elderly, and the aspirations of our young,” the Pope said, we are not guardians of hope.

He called on the bishops to proclaim to a world that, “for all its material prosperity», is seeking «something more, something greater, something authentic and fulfilling.”

Before praying to Mary and imparting his apostolic blessing, Pope Francis assured the bishops that if the face of the Church is “first and foremost a face of love,” he is convinced “more and more young people will be drawn to the heart of Jesus, ever aflame with divine love in the communion of his mystical body.”


On Zenit’s Web page:

Full Translation: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-discourse-to-korean-bishops

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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