Friday, July 09, 2010

Priests must not use vocation as social stepping stone, cautions Benedict XVI :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Priests must not use vocation as social stepping stone, cautions Benedict XVI :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Vatican City, Jun 21, 2010 / 12:59 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- During Pope Benedict's homily for the ordination of 14 priests on Sunday for the Diocese of Rome, he emphasized that the vocation of the priesthood, must not be viewed as a way to achieve social status in life, but rather as a way to “rediscover the ever-new face” of Christ.

In his homily for the ordination, which took place Sunday morning in St. Peter's Basilica, the Holy Father cautioned that the priesthood “must never represent a way to achieve security in life or to attain social position”

“Anyone who aspires to the priesthood in order to increase his personal prestige and power has radically misunderstood the significance of this ministry,” explained the Pope.

He noted that if a priest's main goal is to “achieve success,” he will say “what people want to hear” and “adapt to changing fashions and opinions.”

“In this way, he will deprive himself of the vital relationship with truth, reducing himself to condemning tomorrow what he praises today,” Benedict XVI warned.

"A priest who sees his ministry in these terms,” he continued, does not truly love God and neighbor, he loves only himself and, paradoxically, ends up by losing himself.” The vocation of the priesthood “is founded on the courage to say yes to another will, with the daily-growing awareness that” by “conforming ourselves to the will of God ... we increasingly enter into the truth of our being and our ministry.”

Pope Benedict also encouraged the priests to “rediscover the ever-new face” of Christ through prayer.

“Only one who has an intimate relationship with the Lord can be seized by Him, can bring Him to others, can become His envoy. This involves a kind of 'remaining with Him' which must always accompany, and be the core of, priestly ministry, also and above all during moments of difficulty when it seems that 'the things to be done' must take priority.

“Wherever we are, whatever we do, we must always 'remain with Him'."

The Pontiff drew his homily to a close by asking God to give the priests the grace “to be able to live this ministry coherently and generously, everyday."

Copyright © CNA (

Cardinal Bertone says mission of priest is to 'bring Heaven down to Earth' :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Cardinal Bertone says mission of priest is to 'bring Heaven down to Earth' :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Vatican City, Jul 7, 2010 / 08:32 pm (CNA).- Celebrating the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood at a recent Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said the mission of the priest is “to bring heaven down to earth, to bring about the communion of all men and women with God.”

During his homily at the July 6 Mass in Rome, the cardinal explained that the mission of the priest “consists in giving hope to people, in proclaiming that God is good, in alleviating the sorrows of the afflicted, in bringing the meaning of heaven to those who overwhelmed by the tribulations of this earth.”

“As a priest and bishop many times I have experienced the beauty and strength of the Gospel of Jesus, which is truly capable of changing the lives of people,” Cardinal Bertone noted. “In order to understand the live of a priest, one doesn’t necessarily need to ask what a priest does, but rather who a priest is.”

A priest, explained the prelate, “is someone in love with Jesus Christ, his friend.”

“I have also increasingly experienced in these 50 years that the priesthood is an intimate relationship of friendship with Jesus,” he added. “This divine presence has accompanied me and protected me always.”

The cardinal then pointed to Pope Benedict XVI as a “luminous example” of the priesthood and someone who calls on priests to deepen their friendship with Jesus and exhorts them that “ecclesial communion is the basis for an incisive evangelical testimony.”

“When I think of the Church,” he continued, “I think if the faces and names of so many people I have met, appreciated and have strengthened me to serve with my priesthood: beloved priests and so many exemplary priests, faithful religious, generous and strong laypeople, families united together who bear witness to love, young people and the elderly, the humble and the powerful of the earth, men and women in Italy and in the entire continent, happy to have chose Christ and his Gospel.”

Concluding his homily, Cardinal Bertone said, “When I was ordained a priest 50 years ago, as every Salesian of Don Bosco, I was ready to begin the mission amidst young people. This indeed happened, but in a context full of ecclesial spirit: the Pontifical Salesian University, where I passionately devoted my energies.”

“Later came other responsibilities which made me love the particular churches to which I was sent, and with them, the universal Church even more.”

Copyright © CNA (

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Departing Catholic University president turned school around but sowed divisions, some say

Departing Catholic University president turned school around but sowed divisions, some say

The Washington Post (like their northern cousin, the NYT) likes to make ad hominem and non sequitur arguments. Since many schools no longer teach Aristotlean Logic, it is no wonder that more readers don't rebuke the paper for making these fallacies.

Bishop Elect David O'Connell, CM, is a friend of mine and my former canon law professor. He was the best thing Catholic University ever had. As President of the college, he restored Catholicism to its rightful place of honor. He is 100% orthodox and expected the same from his department of theology. He required the mandatum and had professors take the oath of fidelity. The fact that he was not popular to EVERYONE is a good sign since only a sychophant tells everybody what they want to hear. Dave O'Connell told people what they NEEDED to hear. Under his adminstration, a huge increase of vocations to the priesthood and religious life came about after graduation. During his tenure, Eucharistic Holy Hours were held on campus and students actually attended them, willingly and often. He made a few enemies and some opponents but they were the ones who espouse heterodoxy, dissent and contrary moral behavior. The Diocese of Trenton is BLESSED to have him as their coadjutor. And there is also the pastoral, priestly side of Bishop-Elect O'Connell, as well. He was, is, and always will be first and foremost a PRIEST. Administrator, Scholar, Teacher, Co-worker, Leader, Friend ... but most of all, an ordained priest and soon to be Bishop. He will shepherd the Diocese like he did CUA. With TRUTH and CHARITY. ad multos annos. ecce sacerdos magnus.

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