Pope Francis greets faithful from his pope-mobile as he leaves St. Peter's Square at the Vatican at the end of his weekly general audience, Wednesday, May 8, 2013. Francis has told nuns from around the world that they must be spiritual mothers and not "old maids." Francis also warned the sisters against using their vocations for personal ambition, saying priests and sisters who do so "do more harm to the church." AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Pope Francis doesn't want his sisters in Christ to become spinsters.
While speaking in regards to a nun's vows of chastity in front of women's religious orders from around the world, the Pope said he wants nuns to be spiritual mothers and not "old maids."
Despite not having children of their own, the Pope spoke of the sister's role in the spiritually upbringing of the children in the Church.
“Forgive me if I talk like this, but this maternity of consecrated life, this fruitfulness, is important!” said Francis.
The pope made the comments during an audience Wednesday with about 800 sisters attending an assembly of the International Union of Superiors General, which gathers women's religious leaders from some 75 countries.
The meeting came before Francis' general audience in St. Peter's Square, where in a break with tradition, he walked around a quadrant of the square greeting pilgrims.
Francis also warned the sisters against using their vocations for personal ambition, saying priests and sisters who do so "do more harm to the church."
Francis has complained frequently about such "careerism" in the church — a buzzword that is frequently used to describe Holy See bureaucrats.
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.