VATICAN CITY (CNS): As Church leaders met at the Vatican to identify pastoral priorities, several bishops expressed concern about a lack of spirituality in many priests’ formations and lifestyles.
At the end of the first week of the September 30-October 27 Synod of Bishops, other prelates said bishops must embrace ‘radical’ poverty and be easily available to all their people.
Pakistani Bishop Anthony T. Lobo of Islamabad-Rawalpindi warned that in many countries ‘there are serious problems with seminary formation and consequently with priests’.
‘What is missing is the deep, growing, person-to-person intimate relationship to Christ. One cause of this could be the neglect – if not total exclusion – of popular devotions in the life of seminarians, and later on as priests,’ he told the synod on October 4.
Bishop Lobo said the ‘vacuum’ of spirituality in priests was evident in their turning to video and Internet entertainment, lack of appreciation for Church teaching, and overemphasis on social action to the neglect of spiritual labours.