Pope asks for prayer for his ministry of governance in the Church
The pope said the duty of the priest is to "govern and guide with the authority of Christ that portion of the people which God has entrusted to his care."
"The spiritual authority conferred in Holy Orders should be matched by the priest’s interior fidelity to his pastoral mission and his personal readiness to follow obediently the lead of Christ."
The pope noted there is a misconception of hierarchy in the Church and that he is "a point of reference for the communion of all the pastors of the Church" and that he cannot do as he pleases.
He told priests there is no greater service to mankind than leading man to God, to reawaken the faith, and to infuse the hope that God is close.He also said that if priests are obedient to God’s will, all of their words and actions will bear fruit.
"I ask all of you to support your priests in their ministry of leading men and women to God, bearing witness to the truth of the Gospel and it message of hope."
The pope invited priests to the closing ceremonies of the Year for Priests, which will take place in Rome from June 9 through June 11. And he concluded by requesting prayer for himself.
"In a special way I also ask you to pray for my own ministry of governance in the Church, and for the spiritual fruitfulness of the celebrations at the conclusion of the Year for Priests."
Benedict XVI said they will meditate on conversion and mission and will renew their priestly promises. IS