Pope sets 2015 for consecrated life

Pope Francis has announced that 2015 will be a year dedicated to consecrated life.

As he addressed a gathering of delegates in Rome for the 82nd General Assembly of the Union of Superiors General last weekend, the Pontiff made his announcement during a lengthy question and answer session with the superiors.

"A radical approach is required of all Christians, but religious persons are called upon to follow the Lord in a special way," the Pope said. "They are men and women who can awaken the world.

"Consecrated life is prophecy. God asks us to fly the nest and to be sent to the frontiers of the world, avoiding the temptation to 'domesticate' them. This is the most concrete way of imitating the Lord."

In a special message for the gathering, Pope Francis concluded: "Thank you for what you do and for your spirit of faith and your service. Thank you for your witness and also for the humiliations through which you have had to pass."