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At the conclusion of the synod, I said that in the face of a crisis of priestly vocations “the first answer which the Church gives lies in a total act of faith in the Holy Spirit.

Credo: John Paul II – Wikipedia

The faithful are often left to themselves ddscargar long periods, without sufficient pastoral support. Indeed, concern for vocations is a connatural and essential dimension of the Church’s pastoral work.

A correct and in – depth awareness of the nature pastorfs mission of the ministerial priesthood is the path which must be taken – and in fact the synod did take it – in order to emerge from the crisis of priestly identity.

Knowledge of the pastords is important. The apostle Paul had a clear and sure understanding of this point. By the sacramental anointing of holy orders, the Holy Spirit configures them in a new and special way to Jesus Christ the head and shepherd; he forms and strengthens them with his pastoral charity; and he gives them an authoritative role in the Church as servants of the proclamation of the Gospel to every people and of the fullness of Christian life of all the baptized.


You are ministers of the Eucharist and ministers of God’s mercy in the sacrament of penance. In this way the Spirit of the Lord is revealed as the source of holiness and of the call to holiness.

Christ gives the dignity of a royal priesthood to the people he has made his own. In the third millennium the priestly vocation will continue to be the call to live the unique bobis permanent priesthood of Christ. Awareness of this gift is the foundation and support of the priest’s unflagging trust amid the difficulties, temptations and weaknesses which he will meet along his spiritual path.


Therefore, since every priest in his own way represents the person of Christ himself, he is endowed with a special grace. He creates our “new heart,” inspires it and guides it with the “new law” of love, of pastoral charity. Hence priests belonging to dioceses which are rich in vocations should show themselves willing and ready, with the permission or at the urging of their own bishop, to exercise their ministry in other regions, missions or activities which suffer from a shortage of clergy.

The priest’s relation to the Church is inscribed in the very relation which the priest has to Christ, such that the “sacramental representation” to Christ serves as the basis and inspiration for the relation of the priest to the Church. Other insights or reference to other traditions of spiritual life can contribute to the priest’s journey toward perfection, for these are capable of enriching the life of individual priests as well as enlivening the presbyterate with precious spiritual gifts.


This was, for example, the experience of the prophet Jeremiah: For the sake of this universal priesthood of the new covenant Jesus gathered disciples during his earthly mission cf. Rather as the synod fathers frequently repeated, it is an essential part of he overall pastoral work of each Church, 93 a concern which demands to be integrated into and fully identified with the ordinary “care of souls,” 94 a connatural and essential dimension of the Church’s pastoral work, of her very life and mission.

Holiness is intimacy pasyores God; it is the imitation of Christ, who was poor, chaste and humble; it is unreserved love for souls and a giving of oneself on their behalf and for their true good; it is love for the Church which is holy and wants us to be holy, because this is the mission that Christ entrusted to her.

For by their everyday sacred actions, as by the entire ministry which they exercise in union with the bishop and pastorees fellow priests, they are being directed toward perfection of life. The priest is a living and transparent image of Christ the priest. The recent collapse of ideologies, the heavily critical opposition to a world of adults who do not always offer a witness of a life based on moral and transcendent values, and the experience of companions who seek escape through drugs and violence – contribute in no small fashion to making more keen and inescapable the fundamental question as to what values are truly capable of giving the fullest meaning to life, suffering and death.

He is the shepherd who has come “not to be served but to serve” Mt. If a priest were no longer to go to confession or properly confess his sins, his priestly being and his priestly action would feel its effects very soon, and this would also be noticed by the community of which he was the pastor.

The concern of the Synod of Bishops and its discussion focused on the increase of vocations to xabo priesthood and the formation of candidates in an attempt to help them come to know and follow Jesus – as they dwscargar to be ordained and to live the sacrament of holy orders, which configures them to Christ the head and shepherd, the servant and spouse of the Church.

The synod does not wish to leave any doubts in the mind of anyone regarding the Church’s firm will to maintain the law that demands perpetual and freely chosen celibacy for present and future candidates for priestly ordination in the Latin rite. A genuinely theological assessment of priestly vocation and pastoral work in its regard can only arise from an assessment of the mystery of the Church as a Mysterium vocationis. By faith we know that the Lord’s promise cannot fail.


In their turn, the apostles, appointed by the Lord, progressively carried out their mission by calling – in various but complementary ways – other men as bishops, as priests and as deacons in order to fulfill the command of the risen Jesus who sent them forth to all people in every age. In this context it is difficult not only to respond fully to a vocation to the priesthood but even to understand its very meaning as a special witness to pastorez primacy of “being” over “having,” and as a recognition that the significance of life consists in a free and responsible giving of oneself to others, a willingness to place oneself entirely at the Service of the Gospel and the kingdom of God as a priest.

The relation between a priest’s spiritual life and the exercise vobie his ministry can also be explained on pastoores basis of the pastoral charity bestowed by the sacrament of holy orders. They are always called to recognize in Jesus of Nazareth the definitive fulfillment of the message of the prophets: This “mystery” seeks expression in the priestly life. In this way the exercise of his ministry deeply involves the priest himself as a conscious, free and responsible person.

This is how the evangelist relates the call of Ddescargar and Peter: The positive factors themselves descragar to be subjected to a careful work of discernment, so that they do not become isolated and contradict one another, becoming absolutes and at odds with one another.


This problem cannot be solved without previous reflection upon the goal of formation, that is, the ministerial priesthood, or more precisely, the ministerial priesthood as a participation – in the Church – in the very priesthood of Jesus Christ. Reference vobi Christ is thus the absolutely necessary key for understanding the reality of priesthood. She must propose clearly and courageously to each new generation the vocational call, help people to discern the authenticity of their call from God and to respond to it generously, and give particular care to the formation of candidates for the priesthood.

Nor should it be considered as posterior to the ecclesial community, as if the Church pasfores be imagined as already established without this priesthood.

The latter, while excluding no one from the proclamation and gift of salvation, will assist him in gently approaching the poor, sinners and all those on the margins of society, following the model given by Jesus in carrying out his prophetic and priestly ministry cf.