Benedict's private secretary in the Vorarlberg "Kirchenblatt": "Mainly talking about gossip and scandals" - lack of priests: besiege God with requests for vocations.
Feldkirch (kath.net/ KAP)
When talking about the Vatican, "then it's mainly about gossip and scandals." As Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Pope Benedict XVI's private secretary for many years explained in an interview with the Vorarlberg "KirchenBlattes" (June 2nd edition), one can "read or hear a great many outlandish things originating the center of the Catholic world, which certainly inspire a flourishing imagination, but do not represent reality." After 27 years in Rome, he answered the question about changes in the Vatican by referring to continuity: Vatican employees should primarily help the pope as the shepherd of the universal Church so that he can fulfill his ministry as the successor of Peter in the best possible way.
According to Gänswein, little has changed in concrete terms over the past three decades, "however, it is noteworthy that the workforce has become more international and the number of laypersons, both men and women, has increased". The exchange between the bishops worldwide and the Pope is of great importance. "It's about one faith, but it's about different tasks."
The Archbishop compared life in the Vatican to a large tree. Sometimes it's "hands-on" and the branches and foliage have to be trimmed "so that it doesn't run rampant," says Gänswein. "Some dry and rotten things fall off by themselves."
Vocations: Do not "water down" the priestly image
In order to awaken more spiritual vocations in Central Europe again, he does not know of any recipe. The words of Jesus "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few" show that even in the times of the New Testament there was obviously a need for vocations. As he said, the curial archbishop considers the biblical postscript "pioneering and helpful": "Ask the Lord of the harvest, and he will send you workers." It is necessary to assail God with requests for vocations. "Pray, pray and pray again: this is the first and most important answer to the lack of spiritual vocations." How long the current dry spell lasts is uncertain, as Gänswein said. "But Christ didn't just take off, even if it sometimes seems like it."
At the same time, the archbishop warned against "watering down" the image of the priest. A young man on the path to the priesthood must know what he is getting himself into. "We have to have the courage to fully stand by the faith of the Church and to celibacy," emphasized Gänswein. This is "not an annoying obstacle, but a gift from Christ".
Archbishop Gänswein came to Maria Bildstein (Vbg.) at the invitation of the Benedictine brother Fidelis Ellensohn to celebrate an anniversary service: The youth movement for vocations in the Church, KIM (circle of young missionaries), set up by the Vorarlberg religious in Tyrol and Vorarlberg, celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org