Pope: a church diplomat should be a man of prayer

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The diplomats representing the Holy See must be open to new ideas, adhering to tradition.

Olga Sakun – Vatican City

On May 27, the Holy Father visited the Pontifical Church Academy, where, since 1701, future diplomats representing the Apostolic See have been training.

The meeting of the Pope with the leadership and pupils of the academy was characterized by a friendly, family atmosphere. At the gates of the institution, the Pope was greeted by the President of the Church Academy, Monsignor Joseph Marino, Secretary of the Holy See for diplomatic personnel, Monsignor Jan Romeo Pavlovsky, and economist and prefect for academic affairs, Monsignor Gabriel Marcelo Viola Casalonga.

The Pope spoke with young priests preparing for diplomatic service; the conversation lasted for about an hour. Students asked the Pope questions on topical topics – about the challenges of the modern Church, missionary work, the synodal path, as well as about the role of the Pontifical bilateral and multilateral diplomacy.

Responding to future church diplomats, the Holy Father listed the main features inherent in those who fulfill this mission: the Vatican diplomat should be a man of prayer, listen to the Gospel, be open to novelty, while firmly rooted in tradition, be ready for dialogue and comparison.

Pope Francis shared the evening meal with the community of the academy and addressed a special message to the 13 pupils who will soon begin their ministry in the pontifical missions.

Currently, 38 priests from 25 countries are studying at the Pontifical Church Academy.

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