Meeting with Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples, Cardinal Fernando Filoni
Cardinal Fernando Filoni
As a part of our morning session we had a lecture given by Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples. He is one of the closest collaborators of the Holy Father. The Pope in his ministry as the Supreme Pontiff is assisted by number of offices that are called here Congregations, one could say that they are like ministries of the Federal Government. The Cardinal we had this morning runs one of the most important congregations. His task is to look after the catholic communities in Africa and some places in South America and Asia. Apart from ensuring that these young churches have got recourses to grow the Prefect recommends to the Pope candidates for bishops from the mission countries. At the course we have got a lot of priests from Africa and I could tell how fond they are of the Cardinal. Lots of them have no means to survive without outside assistance as their communities are just starting. That’s why what the Holy See offers them through the Congregation is the matter of life and death for them. Although Australia doesn’t fall into jurisdiction of the Congregation I was keen on hearing the Cardinal as he’s got an insight into the very dynamic side of the Catholic Church. In Australia we experience the falling number of priests and in Mass attendance. In Africa for example, they’ve got a different problem, they cannot afford to accept all candidates who would like to start training to become priests. The talk and the humbleness of the Cardinal have broaden my horizons as he isn’t an office worker making decisions from his desk but he travels a lot, even to the most remote and hardly known places to meet the local Catholics and learn about their needs and their growth in faith. After listening to his story I am not jealous that he can see the Pope so often. His responsibility is simple enormous. As we finished the session I thought about all these people who work quietly and without publicity as they assist Pope Francis. We all get exited seeing the Pope but we should also remember in our prayers all those who work in the background without drawing attention to themselves but focusing on the glory of God and the benefit of the Catholic Community worldwide.
Fr Daniel OMI
An Oblate Priest