The good news is all over the blogosphere: His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI announced yesterday a jubilee year for priests that will start on June 19, 2009 and culminate on June 19, 2010. It will commemorate the 150th anniversary of St. John Vianney, Cure of Ars, the patron saint of parish priests.
The Pope explained that within every priest’s heart there must exist an “indispensable struggle for moral perfection.” Therefore, the theme for the priestly year is “Faithfulness of Christ, Faithfulness of Priests.”
“God is the only wealth that, definitively, mankind wishes to find in a priest,” said the Holy Father.
Talking about formation of candidates to the priesthood, the Vatican’s announcement reads:
Benedict XVI stressed the need to “have care for the formation of candidates to the priesthood“, a formation that must maintain “communion with unbroken ecclesial Tradition, without pausing or being tempted by discontinuity. In this context, it is important to encourage priests, especially the young generations, to a correct reading of the texts of Vatican Council II, interpreted in the light of all the Church’s doctrinal inheritance”.
The announcement concludes, stressing the sacred and unique nature of the priestly ministry:
“The centrality of Christ leads to a correct valuation of priestly ministry, without which there would be no Eucharist, no mission, not even the Church. It is necessary then, to ensure that ‘new structures’ or pastoral organisations are not planned for a time in which it will be possible to ‘do without’ ordained ministry, on the basis of an erroneous interpretation of the promotion of the laity, because this would lay the foundations for a further dilution in priestly ministry, and any supposed ‘solutions’ would, in fact, dramatically coincide with the real causes of the problems currently affecting the ministry”.
Let us start praying now for our priests, through the intercession of St. John Vianney.
Some of you may remember the prayer for priests I posted a while ago.
We have a great Pope!!