Need for Ongoing Priestly Formation Underlined

Cardinal Castrillón Opens Theology Videoconference

Share this Entry

VATICAN CITY, JULY 5, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The permanent formation of priests is a call to continuous conversion and sanctification, says the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Clergy.

Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos made that point when he opened a theologians videoconference on July 1, held over Internet. The event attracted some of the Church’s leading theologians to discuss “Permanent Formation of the Clergy.”

“The essential theological reason for permanent formation is based on the daily divine and human dialogue of Christ’s ‘Follow Me,’ and the response in faith of his minister: ‘I go and follow,'” said Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos.

Permanent formation “is a process of continual conversion, it is love of God and of all men who have the right to see and meet, in the priest, Christ himself,” he said.

“Permanent formation is the daily rediscovery of the absolute need of the priest’s personal holiness, which is made concrete in the search for ‘being’ and ‘living’ as another Christ, in all the circumstances of his life,” the Vatican prefect said.

Permanent formation, he added, must include the priest’s “different realms of life,” “the human and spiritual, intellectual and pastoral dimension of his life.”

Relativism

Such formation is decisive given the time of “rapid social transformations” that humanity is undergoing, in particular, in “the era of globalization, understood also as facility of communication and information,” Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos noted.

Characteristics of the present time, such as “religious pluralism; a culture — especially the Western — penetrated by existential relativism in which God is not denied but is increasingly less known; a disincarnated spiritualism that rejects the truth of the Incarnation of the Word of God, continually confront and sometimes challenge with aggressive ways the ministers of the Church, who neither can nor want to be silent,” the cardinal said.

“For this reason, permanent formation is essential for the life and growth of the People of God,” he added. “It is a right and duty of every priest, and to impart it is the right-duty of the universal Church, sanctioned by canonical law.”

Share this Entry

ZENIT Staff

Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation