April 5, 2012. (Romereports.com)
On Holy Thursday, the Pope celebrated Chrism Mass at St. Peter's Basilica. It's Holy Week's first major ceremony before Easter.
During that Mass, priests actually renew the promises they made back when they were ordained. Then there's the blessing of oils that will be used, throughout the year to perform the Sacraments.
In his homily, Benedict XVI talked about obedience. He specifically referenced a group of Austrian priests, that has challenged the Catholic Church and called for disobedience. Benedict XVI
“Recently a group of priests from a European country issued a summons to
disobedience, and at the same time gave concrete examples of the forms
this disobedience might take.”
Among other points, the Austrian group has called for the ordination of
women. The Pope explained that despite good intentions, disobedience is
not the best way to renew the Church. Especially since these calls for
change, reflect personal ideas and preferences.
“But is disobedience really a way to do this? Do we sense here anything
of that configuration to Christ which is the precondition for true
renewal, or do we merely sense a desperate push to do something to
change the Church in accordance with one’s own preferences and ideas?”
He called on priests to be holy, encouraging them to find inspiration
through holy priests that have gone before them, mentioning Ignatius of
Loyola and John Paul II.
“The saints show us how renewal works and how we can place ourselves at
its service. And they help us realize that God is not concerned so much
with great numbers and with outward successes, but achieves his
victories under the humble sign of the mustard seed.”
Religious illiteracy, is a major problem in society, said the Pope.
Especially within a society that's so smart. Benedict XVI said, he hopes
the “Year of Faith” will be a good opportunity to open one's heart and
mind to God.
“We preach not private theories and opinions, but the faith of the Church, of which we are servants.”
Several cardinals and bishops attended the Mass at St. Peter's Basilica. In addition, roughly 1,600 priests also attended.