DAILY CATHOLIC     MONDAY     October 19, 1998     vol. 9, no. 204

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO

PRIESTHOOD ORDAINED BY GOD, NOT MAN POPE ASSERTS DAY AFTER HE SEEKS "HUMANIZATION" OF MEDICAL SCIENCE

          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Receiving the participants in a plenary assembly of the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy, Pope John Paul II today affirmed that the structure of the Church transcends the "democratic" nor "autocratic" models, and that the priest has an "irreplaceable character" and a specific mission.

          A priest is called by God, the Pope said, and received a particular mission. He cautioned against popular campaigns that seek to change the nature of the Church, as designed by God to be an "ordained hierarchy." And he reiterated that while every member of the Church has the same dignity, each has a different vocational role.

          Since a priest is chosen by God-- in much the same way that Christ chose his apostles-- no earthly authority can change his sacerdotal mission. Nor can humans change the "extent and exercise" of his priestly authority.

          Finally, the Pope reminded his audience that the effectiveness of a priest's ministry depends not only "his science or competence"-- although proper study and formation are necessary-- but on his "sacred ministry" and faithfulness to God's call.

          The day before he spoke to a congress of Italian physicians at the Vatican. Pope John Paul II called for the "humanization of medicine," saying that goal must be the "constant concern of every doctor and every surgeon."

          The Pontiff urged the doctors to be mindful of the human dignity proper to every patient, and to be conscious of "his physical, psychological, and spiritual health." Advances in medical science, he cautioned, should never lead to a decrease in concern for the dignity of the patient. For a proper understanding of the relationship between science and faith, he urged the doctors to read his new encyclical Fides et Ratio.


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October 19, 1998       volume 9, no. 204
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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