During an audience with the staff of the Roman Curia, Pope Francis reflected on the three hallmarks of Curial officials: professionalism, service, and holiness in life. The Roman Curia traditionally meet with the Pope before the Christmas celebration.
The Holy Father began his address by thanking the superiors and officials of the Roman Curia for their service. “While our hearts are full of gratitude to God, who so loved us that he gave us his only-begotten Son, it is also good to make room for gratitude to one another,” he said.
“In this, my first Christmas as the Bishop of Rome, I also feel the need to offer sincere thanks to all of you as a community of service, and to each of you individually. I thank you for the work which you do each day: for the care, diligence and creativity which you display; and for your effort – I know it is not always easy – to work together in the office, both to listen to and challenge one another, and to bring out the best in all your different personalities and gifts, in a spirit of mutual respect.”
The Holy Father also gave thanks to those who are retiring, expressing gratitude for their dedication while encouraging them to continue to live fully in prayer and in the caring of souls. The example set by them, he continued, reflect the hallmarks of the curial official: professionalism and service.
“To these two qualities of professionalism and service,” the Holy Father added, “I would also like to add a third, which is holiness of life.”
“We know very well that, in the hierarchy of values, this is the most important. Indeed, it is basic for the quality of our work, our service. Here I would like to say that in the Roman Curia there have been, and still are, saints. I have said this publicly on more than one occasion, as a way of thanking the Lord.”
“Holiness means a life immersed in the Spirit, a heart open to God, constant prayer, deep humility and fraternal charity in our relationships with our fellow workers. It also means apostleship, discreet and faithful pastoral service, zealously carried out in direct contact with God’s people. For priests, this is indispensable.”
Emphasizing the need of conscientious objection as essential to Holiness, the Pope called on the Curial staff to be conscientious objectors to gossip, in particular, in the office. “For gossip is harmful to people, harmful to our work and our surroundings.”
Concluding his address, Pope Francis invited the members of the Roman Curia to reflect on the example of St. Joseph, whose concern for the Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus is a reflection of one’s own service to the Church.”Let us experience this Christmas in spiritual closeness to Saint Joseph. This will benefit all of us!” the Pope exclaimed.