October 18, 2010. Even the most reprehensible abuse cannot discredit the priestly mission, which remains great and pure. These were the words of Pope Benedict in a letter sent to seminarians worldwide. Benedict XVI pointed out that these types of abuse are absolutely deplorable and that they have caused profound pain and disgust.
He said: “We have seen that some priests disfigured their ministry by sexually abusing children and young people.” However, their actions cannot overshadow the work of priests worldwide.
The Pope noted that there are many priests who demonstrate that ordained ministers can “live a life of celibacy and give witness to authentic pure and mature humanity.”
At the same time, the Pope recognized that in light of past events the church must be all the more “watchful and attentive” in evaluating vocations.
The pontiff urged seminarians to take the vow of celibacy seriously. He said “this involves the integration of sexuality into the whole personality. When it is not integrated within the person, sexuality becomes banal and destructive."
He also added that the seminary is a place of study and that today's priests must be familiar with everything from Scripture to Canon Law, in order to be able to respond to man's questions.
Last, but certainly not least, Benedict closed the letter asking that they remember him and his mission in their prayers.