04/14/2010, 00.00
Send to a friend

Amidst the "great confusion" of today, priests must teach the truth, that is Christ

During the general audience, Benedict XVI express solidarity with the victims of the earthquake in China. In teaching, priests must "not invent, create or announce their own ideas, but those Christ."

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Teaching "in the name of Christ, presenting the truth which is Christ himself" to a world in which there is "a great confusion” and conflicting philosophies on fundamental choices about the meaning of life itself. It is the first task that characterizes the priesthood, a "ministry" that Benedict XVI illustrated today to over 20 thousand faithful present at the general audience, during which the Pope also had a special thought for the Chinese people affected by an early morning earthquake.  

Speaking at the end of the audience, Pope Benedict said “My thoughts go to China and the people affected by the strong earthquake that caused heavy losses in lives, injuries and extensive damage. I pray for the victims and I am spiritually close to those who are suffering from such severe disasters, I implore God for relief of suffering and courage in these adversities. I hope that common solidarity will not fail”.

In his address to the people present in St Peter's Square, Benedict XVI spoke of the approaching conclusion of the Year for Priests, highlighting how "teaching, sanctifying, governing, each in their own right are the three actions of the risen Christ who today, through his Church teaches, creates faith and unites his people, creating the presence of truth, builds communion, and sanctifies. "  

This means the priest, "acts in persona Christi Capiti ", representing Jesus.  These three tasks of the priest "in their distinction and their profound unity are an indication of this effective action and the embodiment of Christ himself who acts, creates presence in the truth. " "But what is meant by representing? In common terms, receiving a delegation means to be present, to act instead of someone who is absent from the concrete action”.  This does not apply to the priest, "because Christ is never absent in the Church, indeed, he is fully present," he is "a person who is present and does things that the priest alone could not do," such as his  presence in Eucharist and the forgiveness of confession.  

The first task, highlighted today by Benedict XVI "is to teach. Today,  in the midst of an educational emergency, this task is particularly important. We experience great confusion about the basic choices of our lives", about the "values which are really relevant”. Contrasting philosophies arise and disappear, and we forget where we come from, what we are here for and where we are going”.  It is up to the priest to bring the light of the Word to our times, he "never proposes himself, his thoughts or his own doctrine, but just like Christ, he reveals the Father's face to humanity, the deep communion of love that God lives in him and the 'path' that leads to Him, this is how the priest is called to show people the reality and presence of God, alive and active in the world, announcing all that God has revealed of himself, the tradition has given us and that authentic Magisterium has continuously interpreted ".    


The priest, therefore, "does not invent, not create or announce his own ideas, but Christ", but "the priest is not neutral, he is not a spokesman who simply reads".  He needs to "educate with that unwritten book that is his life”, “the priest who proclaims the Word of Christ must also say I do not live in me and for me, but in Christ and for Christ. His life must identify with Christ and thus the word that is not his own, nevertheless become deeply personal".  In this perspective, "that of the priest may often seem like a vox clamans in the desert", but consists precisely in this, in "never approving or certifying" a cultural fashion a philosophy.   The Lord, the Pope concluded, " has given the priest a great task: to announce to the world the truth that saves." St. John Vianney was able to "resist the social and cultural pressures of his time to lead souls to God.  Christian people were encouraged by this and recognized in him the light of truth: this is what should always be recognized in the priest: the voice of the Good Shepherd. "
Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Pope talks about the Middle East, the Holy Land and the food crisis with Bush
Synod for the Amazon: Card Stella hails the ‘great beauty’ of celibacy in a priest’s life
24/10/2019 17:56
Pope: authority in the Church means service and obedience to Christ
Pope: Corpus Domini, “Bread of Life” and love: world hunger unacceptable
Pope: The Trinity dwells in us from the day of baptism, with the help of priests


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”