Opening of the Year for the Priest : “Fidelity of Christ, Fidelity of the Priest”

Source: FSSPX News

During the solemn opening of the Year for the Priests, on June 19, the feast of the Sacred Heart, in St. Peter’s Basilica, Benedict XVI called upon the priests to “let themselves be totally won over by Christ,” after the example of St. Paul and of St. John Marie Vianney (1786-1859), the Curé of Ars, “patron saint of all the parish priests in the world.” The pope especially reminded the priests of the promises made at the time of their priestly ordinations.

“Even our shortcomings, our limitations and our weaknesses must lead us back to the Heart of Jesus,” Benedict XVI told them, and he affirmed that “nothing makes the Church, the Body of Christ, suffer more than the sins of her pastors, especially the sins of those who are transformed into ‘a thief and a robber’ of the sheep (Jn 10: 1 ff.), or who deviate from the Church through their own private doctrines, or who ensnare the Church in sin and death.”

The Sovereign Pontiff invited priests “to carry out our ministry with generosity and dedication, or to preserve in our souls a true ‘fear of God’: the fear of being able to deprive of so much good, through our negligence or fault, those souls entrusted to us, or, God forbid, of harming them. The Church needs holy priests; ministers who can help the faithful to experience the merciful love of the Lord and

who are his convinced witnesses,” Benedict XVI also said before a large audience of cardinals, bishops, and priests.

Before the celebration of Vespers, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, had accompanied the procession carrying, into one of the side chapels of the basilica, the reliquary containing the heart of the Curé of Ars. This relic had been brought to Rome by Bishop Guy Bagnard, of Belley-Ars (France). (Sources: apic/imedia/VIS)