(ZENIT News / Rome, 08.02.2024).- Korean Cardinal Lazarus You Heung, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Clergy, has been responsible for Catholic priests worldwide since 2021.
One way of knowing the “temperature” of the clergy in the world, was the survey sent by the Dicastery for the Clergy to all Episcopal Conferences worldwide, about the “Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis,” a document on the formation of priests.
Some 800 answers reflected “the beauty , the good practices, the good testimonies that exist, but also what is lacking: the need for better formation.” The answer was given by Cardinal You Heung himself to the Vatican media. And those results were the ones that inspired the “Conference on the Permanent Formation of Priests,” which is being held in Rome from February 6-10 and in which is being attended by one thousand ecclesiastics.
Another of the findings identified by the Cardinal is that priests “need support.” On being asked about the challenges for the formation and accompaniment of priests in today’s world, he answered:
“I see that many priests complain of loneliness and also that today’s world is very secularized. In this context, to move forward it’s necessary to take care of one another, be they elderly or young, and thus become a gift for others. Therefore, to live a reality of home, of family among priests will help mutual care and this will also give witness to the outside world.”
The ”Conference on the Permanent Formation of Priests” is addressing the above issues more specifically through experts’ talks who share their experiences and also through smaller discussion groups. It’s been anticipated that the talks will be published on the Dicastery’s Website, which, of course, has been recently updated (it can be consulted at: https://www.clerus.va/).