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Rome Reports

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June 2010: Benedict XVI closes Year for Priests

Monsignor Padovese was supposed to accompany the Pope on his trip to Cyprus, where Benedict the XVI presented a working document for the Synod of Bishops of the Middle East. When the Pope returned to Rome, he was greeted by about 15,000 priests from all over the world for the celebration of the close of the Year of the Priest. Card. Claudio Hummes Prefect, Congregation for the ClergyWe ask the Holy Father that the Year of the Priest does not stop here. In other words, that the quest for holiness, for each and every one of us, does not end here.” Later, five priests from around the world asked the Pope for advice on some of the biggest challenges of their lives. The Pope urged priests working in parishes, not to have fear in promoting the priesthood among young people and to remember that the most important thing is to maintain a most solid relationship with God. The day after, the Pope co-celebrated a mass with the highest number of priests in history in St. Peter?s Square. There, the Pope asked God?s forgiveness and offered prayers for the victims of sex abuse committed by priests. He said that such behavior cannot be tolerated, and that the Church must do everything possible, so that it will not happen again. Benedict XVIWe promise that we will do everything possible so that such abuse is not committed ever again.” Right before June?s end, he announced the formation of a new Vatican Council dedicated to spreading the faith in the world?s most remote places, where the concept of God has been overshadowed. Its name is the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, and Italian archbishop Rino Fisichella was appointed as its leader. June also marked an amazing archeological discovery. Hidden in the Catacombs of St. Thecla in Rome, down in a fourth century burial chamber of a Roman noblewoman, the oldest existing paintings of apostles Saints Peter, Paul, Andrew and John were found. The four corners of the ceiling were decorated with medallions featuring the four apostles. Icons, that show us how these apostles were depicted from the IVth century and beyond. JMB/SCCTV GDP -WP