Pope Francis to Youth: Do Not Fear Tattoos
By Mei Manuel, March 25, 2018 05:03 AM
On Monday, Pope Francis has shared his stance on tattoos, sharing to his young audience that they should not fear those with tattoos, but see it as an opportunity for community and dialogue.
In his pre-Synodal meeting with young people at the Vatican, Vatican News reports that the pope was asked about his stance about the issue. A Ukranian seminarian asked how priest-in-training might 'respond to the complexities of present day culture- like tattoos for instance?'
According to ChurchPOP, the Pope said 'Do not be scared of tattoos. The Eritreans for years made the cross here [indicating the forehead]. Also, today we see them. The cross was tattooed. Yes, they are exaggerations, but today I see some.'
He further adds 'Tattoos often signify membership in a community. You, young man, that you're tattooed like that, what are you looking for? In this tattoo, which community membership are you expressing. It is important not to be scared. With young people, one should never be scared! Never! Because always, even behind the things that are not so good, there is something that will bring us to some truth.'
The Pope also spoke about his stance about the challenges of priesthood, warning against the damage that 'gossip' can do to the bond of a priest to his community. He also condemned clericalism or the undue power that is often given to religious authorities like priests. He also said clericalism is 'one of the worst illnesses of the Church' and confuses the 'paternal role of the priest' with the 'managerial role of the boss'. A priest, the Pope says, should be a 'witness to Christ'.
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