Future Vatican Diplomats Will Dedicate One Year to Missionary Work, Says Pope Francis

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By Melissa Butz

Pope Francis believes missionary work is a useful experience for young priests aspiring to be pontifical representatives.

It hasn’t even been one week since the Church received Pope Francis’s exhortation on the Amazon Synod, “Beloved Amazon,” and concrete change is already taking place in the formation of priests who are hoping to work as diplomats for the Vatican.

From now on, priests who want to be pontifical representatives around the world must dedicate an entire year of their formation to Catholic missionary work, in a land other than their own.

The suggestion was given to Pope Francis in writing during the Synod.

“Tn the curriculum of Diplomatic Service, that young priests spend at least one year on mission land. But not doing internships,” explained Pope Francis. “Not doing internships, as is done in nunciatures, which is very useful, but simply to be at the service of a bishop in a mission area.”

The pontiff believes it is an advantageous experience for young priests, particularly those desiring to be formed as nuncios. 

He hopes they obtain not only their priestly and pastoral formation, but the practice of evangelizing in a culture different than their own.

Pope Francis hopes other priests throughout the world will also adopt this missionary year, saying, while it will benefit the men, more importantly it will sustain each church involved in the collaboration on a global scale.