The letter of John Paul II to priests on Maundy Thursday

Source: FSSPX News


This letter, a dozen pages long, dated March 28, is devoted to the sacrament of the Eucharist, "a gift of God radically surpassing the power of the assembly and which this latter receives through the episcopal succession, which goes back to the Apostles."

The pope particularly invites the priests to do all they can to make altar serving a "breeding-ground" for priestly vocations: "The group of altar servers, well accompanied by you in the midst of the parochial community, may walk a real path of Christian growth, becoming almost a kind of pre-seminary." But nothing is done, in this letter, to suppress the mixed presence of both boy and girl altar servers, which was demanded by the progressives and authorized by Roman texts.

Inviting also "the Christian people" not to cease praying that priests may never be lacking in the Church", he stresses that "priests enamored with the Eucharist are able to communicate this eucharistic admiration to children and to young people". "Thanks to the strong and imaginative sensibility characteristic of their age,” continues John Paul II, “and also thanks to the explanations and the example of priests and of their older companions, the young can also grow in the faith and become impassioned for spiritual realities."

In the last lines of his letter, the pope asks that the faithful be exhorted to "pray for vocations, for the perseverance of those called to the priestly life and for the sanctification of all priests". Addressing once more his "brethren priests", he invokes Mary, the mother of Christ, that she "may never allow you to become complacent about the Mystery, which has been placed in your hands".