Priests and Seminarians Encouraged to Study in Rome

Pope´s Message for Inauguration of Argentine College

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 25, 2002 ( John Paul II exhorted priests and seminarians to study in Rome, contending that in the heart of Christianity they will discover new horizons for their work of evangelization.

The Pontiff made this suggestion in a message to Argentina´s bishops on the occasion of the inauguration of the Argentine Priests College. The Vatican Press Office published the message today.

Many bishops´ conferences have centers in Rome where priests and seminarians can finish their studies. Unlike other Latin American countries, Argentina previously had no such center.

While residing at these colleges, students can pursue their studies at the pontifical universities and athenaeums of Rome.

John Paul II says the city gives students the chance to meet their counterparts from other parts of the world and to benefit from contacts with «different ecclesial realities.»

Students can also experience the places where the early Christians, and other generations of the faithful, showed their fidelity to Jesus, the Pope explained.

In addition, a stay «in the Church of Rome, see of Peter and his successors, will serve to increase fidelity to her,» said John Paul II, who as a priest studied in Rome as early as the 1940s.

«All these circumstances are, without a doubt, a source of evangelizing vigor and ecclesial vitality, because they allow one to see better the close connection of any plan or pastoral action with the very origins of the mission of the Church,» the Holy Father concluded.

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