Cardinal calls for rediscovery of value of priesthood


  • Category:

Rome, Italy, Dec 10, 2009 / 12:28 am (CNA).- In an upcoming pastoral letter, the president of the Bishops' Conference of Italy, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa, calls on Catholics to rediscover the inestimable value of the priesthood and of the liturgical patrimony guarded by the Church.

The letter is entitled, "This Is Your Spiritual Worship," and will be released during the next blessing of the families in Genoa. In it, the cardinal underscores that the Year of Priests is "also an occasion for the entire Christian people to think of the beauty of the priesthood and priests' ministry as pastors of the community."

In particular, the cardinal called on the laity to "pray for priests and to be close to them, as well as to help them discreetly and generously." He also encouraged the laity to "grow in responsible participation in the life of the Church."

Addressing the correct participation of the faithful at Mass, Cardinal Bagnasco noted that at times there exists a "temptation to believe that active participation consists in doing or saying everything or making the largest number of people involved as frequently as possible."

Instead of succumbing to this temptation, he explained, "we must go beyond this because in order to enter into the Eucharistic mystery, in order to actively participate and remain transformed, we need a profound desire, a sincere decision to lose ourselves in God, to entrust ourselves to His will in body and in soul, mind and heart."

The cardinal also emphasized that "the liturgy is one of our patrimonies but not our property: it must be celebrated as the Church indicates."