In life I wonder desire to know what is going on in reality. By what authority do pastors admit when they are in front of other people? The person in the hospital bed, the husband about to be without a job, the student about to be dismissed from university studies because she committed an act of plagiarism, the senior person facing dementia and cancer? What is the occasion for pastoral leadership and by what light is reality judged (evaluated) and addressed? Is it ideology or reality? Too often the clergy are without a method, or a reasonable measure of leadership or a substantial spiritual life.
Pope Benedict XVI, in his message to the Presidents of Europe’s 34 Episcopal Conferences, exhorted them “not to be afraid of facing up to the present-day pastoral challenges, being in position to listen to the concrete conditions of man’s personal and social life, ready to proclaim the Gospel of hope to all. The Gospel is a light entrusted to Christians of the third millennium so that, through a courageous and credible witness it may give light to the whole house (cf. Mt 5,15)“.