VATICAN CITY, MAR 9 (ZENIT.org).- John Paul II asked for a special
commitment to "families in difficulties," as well as youth who have left
the Christian community, and to the neediest of the diocese, when he
received the priests of Rome this morning in St. Peter's Basilica in the
Today this annual meeting became the Jubilee of the priests of the
Eternal City this Holy Year, as they solemnly crossed the threshold of
the Holy Door, made their profession of faith, and celebrated a
John Paul II reminded them that the priest, "minister of the forgiveness
of God, must himself be forgiven" in the sacrament of Penance.
Today this annual meeting became the Jubilee of the priests of the Eternal City this Holy Year, as they solemnly crossed the threshold of the Holy Door, made their profession of faith, and celebrated a penitential liturgy.
John Paul II reminded them that the priest, "minister of the forgiveness of God, must himself be forgiven" in the sacrament of Penance.
UnityIn face of the difficulties challenging a priest today in a secularized society, in which at times his service is not appreciated, the Pontiff recommended to the Roman presbyters that they not allow their pastoral activity to impede the cultivation of a profound unity with their Bishop (i.e., the Pope) and with their brother priests, "nourished in common prayer, in meeting, in dialogue, and in the search for a sincere friendship." The Holy Father added that "the priests' help to the sick and the elderly is fundamental, along with their availability for dialogue and meeting with those who have left the priesthood."
The Pope noted that "a united and harmonious priesthood, capable of working together, is a great testimony for the faithful and multiplies the efficacy of the ministry."
Families in DifficultyIn referring to the challenges the priests of the Eternal City must face, the Holy Father requested that they give themselves "with special pastoral charity to families in difficulty" or "distanced from the Church," with "grave problems of faith or morality," whose members are "sick, elderly, or suffering," or those who endure "particularly painful dramas because of situations of separation between spouses and children."
"May the Holy Year, a year of great pardon and of the mercy of God, offer to all the possibility to feel heard, welcomed and encouraged to find paths of reconciliation with the Lord and with their brothers and sisters, including situations where everything seems lost or irreversible."
Youth and NeedyThe other pastoral priority the Pope pointed out to the priests of his diocese was that of youth, even "when they have distanced themselves from the Christian community," trying to meet them "with sincere friendship and fraternity wherever they are: in the realms of study, work, sports or free time, in the streets of the neighborhood!"
Finally, the Pope said that "the attention of all the diocesan community for the numerous poor who live in our city," must not be lacking. He encouraged invitations to house needy Jubilee pilgrims. "Celebrating the Jubilee means opening our hearts to our poorest brothers and sisters, seeing in them the presence of the suffering Christ, who asks to be received with an active love." ZE00030905
March 10-12, 2000 |
volume 11, no. 50
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