Benedict XVI Tells of His Hope for Priests

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 7, 2005 ( Benedict XVI expressed to priests his profound hope that they give their lives for God and the salvation of souls.

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The Pope expressed that view at the end of today’s general audience, when greeting participants in a congress organized by the Congregation for Clergy, on the Second Vatican Council’s decree “Presbyterorum Ordinis.”

That decree on the ministry and life of priests was published by Pope Paul VI on Dec. 7, 1965.

“Dear brothers,” Benedict XVI said, “this conciliar document has constituted a stage of fundamental importance in the life of the Church, insofar as it refers to the reflection on the nature and characteristics of the ministerial priesthood, which conforms presbyters with Jesus Christ, head and shepherd of his people.”

Like Jesus, “priests must give their lives for the glory of God and the salvation of souls,” the Pope added.

The Holy Father has granted a plenary indulgence for this Dec. 8, solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, the 40th anniversary of Vatican II’s closure.

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