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Pope writes letter to all the priests of the world

2009-06-18

In the letter, Benedict XVI laments the infidelity of some priests that are “guilty of very serious situations” that, he says, “will never be deplored enough.” But he also mentions those persecuted priests and the majority who remain loyal in the midst of difficult situations.

Cardinal Claudio Hummes
Prefect, Congregation for the Clergy

"With this year we want to do justice to the truth: the majority of priests are men of dignity that have devoted their lives to the Church, to men and to the poor. The Church is proud of them. It’s a disgrace that a small group has followed the path of civil and canonical offense. The Church does not turn a blind eye and does not ignore this."

In the letter, the pope encourages priests to follow the example of John Mary Vianney, patron saint of priests. Mainly he encourages them to not be confined to their parishes but to also dedicate time to the confession of people, visiting families, preparing feasts and taking care of the liturgical objects.

He also invited them to foster a real friendship with God and asked that this friendship be reflected in the devout celebration of Mass and the good formation of people.

Cardinal Claudio Hummes
Prefect, Congregation for the Clergy

"The pope invites them to foster a deeper and stronger spirituality. A deeper conscience and theological understanding of the identity of the priest, of what it means to be a priest in this historic moment."

The pope refers to priests as an “immense gift” for the Church and for humanity. That’s why he asks that they live a fraternal priesthood and that they be united with their Bishops and laypeople, so they can be authentic messengers of hope, peace and reconciliation.


JMB