Priests Are Irreplaceable, Affirms Editor

Stresses St. Joseph’s Silent Virtue

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 7, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The editor of L’Osservatore Romano is reminding the public that despite the recent negative news about certain members of the clergy, priests in general are irreplaceable and necessary.

Gian Maria Vian stated this in an editorial published today, in which he commented on the recent activity of Benedict XVI.

In the Pope’s visit to Sulmona, in Italy’s Abruzzo region, on Sunday, the Pontiff addressed the young people, encouraging them to “love the Church, their bishop and their priests in these rather difficult times,” Vian noted.

He added, “In spite of ‘all our weaknesses’ Benedict XVI then repeated with exemplary humility ‘priests are precious presences in your life.'”

The editor observed: “The Pope’s constant support of Catholic priests is important.

“They are the clear and credible witnesses of reconciliation with God at the very time when an effort is being made to cloud the reality and beauty of their mission.

“They are in fact irreplaceable and fundamental during the Church’s earthly pilgrimage.”

Patron

The day after his trip, Vian noted, Benedict XVI inaugurated and blessed a fountain in the Vatican Gardens dedicated to St. Joseph, a gift from the Governor’s Office of Vatican City State.

In an address on that occasion, Benedict XVI emphasized “silence” as “a distinctive feature of Joseph, his patron saint,” the editor recalled.

He added that this silence “means above all attention and availability to God in a society that on the contrary wants to overwhelm him with a thousand contradictory voices in a chaotic confusion, which disorientates the people of today.”

“Christians must never forget that neither history nor the choice of silence and prayer are alien to reality,” Vian stated.

He noted that “the Pope reminded the young people of the importance of having a historical memory in order to understand themselves and to open themselves to the future; and he put them on guard against the kind of prayer that alienates them from real life.”

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