MADAGASCAR: “Form a Great Spiritual Family,” Pope to Malagasy Priests and Religious Living in Rome

By Arnold Neliba

ROME, OCTOBER 28, 2022 (CISA)-Pope Francis in a meeting with priests, men and women religious from Madagascar living in Rome has condemned the “virus of selfishness” and personal interests, which threatens peaceful coexistence among people.

The meeting on October 27, which followed the “ad Limina Apostolorum” visit of the Catholic bishops from Madagascar was according to the Holy Father an opportunity to know each other better, “and their expectations and hopes of consecrated persons on mission in Rome.”

“Your presence today, while your Bishops are on an ad limina visit, is the expression of your communion of prayer with the spiritual journey they carry out at the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul. In fact, the fruitfulness of your mission also depends on the unity that you cultivate, among yourselves and with your Pastors,” said Pope Francis.

The pope denounced the current trend of individualism in society, which threatens the unity of the Church. He said, “There is so much talk, chatter is the order of the day; please do not chat, do not chat, always speak well of one another, because chatter is a weapon of disunion.”

“I, therefore, encourage you to always walk together and to make your presence here in Rome a precious opportunity, which will allow you to enrich and renew your faith in the footsteps of the great figures of saints and saints who have preceded you here. I urge you to form a great spiritual family, within which you respect one another, love one another and support one another. Thus you can become signs of hope for your particular Churches and for Madagascar, which you expect a lot from you,” the pope added.

The meeting between the Pope and members of the Council of the Union of Malagasy Priests, Religious men and women was organized by Bishop Marie Fabien Raharilamboniaina, O.C.D., of the Catholic Diocese of Morondava and president of the Episcopal Conference of Madagascar.