Synod for the Amazon: Card Stella hails the ‘great beauty’ of celibacy in a priest’s life

“The Church has remained the only institution that preaches a commitment that last forever, for priests, consecrated life and marriage,” said Card Stella. This is “a great challenge and a tremendous inner need.”

 


Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Today the editorial committee reviewed and approved the final text of the final document of the Synod for the Amazon, two days before the final vote on the document, which will then be handed over to the Pope.

Speaking at today’s daily briefing, Card Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for the clergy, defined celibacy as "the great beauty in the life of a priest, but it must be nurtured because it is a treasure that we grow in clay pots”.

"I always tell the bishops: ‘Train the priests well, be very vigilant on the human aspects of the person as well’,” he said. “The Church has remained the only institution that preaches a commitment that last forever, for priests, consecrated life and marriage.” This is “a great challenge and a tremendous inner need.”

"The gift of celibacy today represents a great personal challenge for young people and for priests as well,” one that “must be taken up with great inner awareness after a time of training and personal preparation.”

For the prelate, “Prayer, discipline and personal commitment” are the three requisites that ensure that "celibacy can be lived, aware that we live in a world that does not view it as a value”. For this reason, "We must speak to young people and present the needs of the Latin priesthood as a great commitment and [something of] beauty.”

Celibacy indeed "is a vocation that, in order to be accepted, needs the balance of a healthy mind and transparent affectivity as well as preparation in a context of great human quality.”

With respect to the ordination of older married men, "what the Synod will be able to say about the new ministry paths, we leave it to the discernment of the Synod Fathers and the final discernment of the Holy Father, who has the task of the discernment of Peter.”

Mgr Ricardo Ernesto Centellas Guzman, bishop of Potosì in Bolivia and president of his country's Bishops' Conference, also spoke about the ministries.

Interviewed by Vatican News, he said he was "confident that the final document will give an indication so that the Church can work, starting with the Amazon, including highlighting the need for social compromise. Since the situation in the Amazon is not just about Latin America but a global issue, we must find a global solution."

As for the role of women, they could “for example officially take on the leadership of Christian communities and play a role in parish pastoral councils and diocesan councils. I see positively the future work of women in all this.”

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