New Vatican Proposal for Priests

Catholic World News on-line is reporting that the Vatican Congregation for Clergy has initiated a new campaign of prayer for priests. The story reads in part:

The Congregation for Clergy, in a document released on December 8, calls for a major worldwide drive to promote Eucharistic adoration "for the reparation of faults and sanctification of priests." [emphasis mine]

In a document issued on December 8, the Congregation for Clergy urges diocesan bishops throughout the world to join in the prayer campaign, and recommends specific steps that should be taken to foster a spirit of Eucharistic adoration.

In response to troubles within the ranks of the clergy, the Congregation acknowledges that "a great many things are necessary," but announces its plan "for the departure point to be a spiritual endeavor."

A spiritual renewal will only come through prayer, the document argues. The Congregation for Clergy notes that Pope Benedict XVI, in the apostolic exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, strongly recommended Eucharistic adoration as an apt and effective form of prayer for priestly vocations.

The Vatican directive-- signed by Cardinal Claudio Hummes and Archbishop Mauro Piacenza: the prefect and secretary, respectively, of the Congregation for Clergy-- explains:

In order to continually maintain a greater awareness of the ontological link between the Eucharist and the Priesthood, and in order to recognize the special maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary for each Priest, it is our intention to bring about a connection between perpetual Eucharistic adoration for the reparation of faults and sanctification of priests.

The letter from the Congregation for Clergy is dated December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception. In explaining their plan, Cardinal Hummes and Archbishop Piacenza make it clear that this was no coincidence, saying that the "intend in a very particular way to entrust all Priests to Mary, the Mother of the High and Eternal Priest."

The Vatican asks every diocesan bishop to promote the new program by appointing a priest "who will devote himself full-time, as far as possible, to the specific ministry of promoting Eucharistic adoration and coordinating this important service in the diocese." The document goes on to say: "Just as there are Marian shrines, with rectors in charge of that particular ministry and suitable for it specific needs, it is also possible to have Eucharistic shrines."

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