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Monday, April 19, 2010

A papal invitation

Pope Benedict XVI, through a letter from the Congregation of the Clergy, has invited all priests from all over the world to attend the concluding celebration of the Year for Priests, which ends June 11, the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Festivities will take place June 9-11.

"The Pope wants to confirm the priests of the Church," the letter said. "Their presence in large numbers in St. Peter's Square will be a proactive and responsible way for priests to show themselves ready and unintimidated for the service of the humanity entrusted to them by Jesus Christ."

In doing so, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, the congregation's head, wrote that priests could show their solidarity for the pontiff in the face of "unjust attacks" against him regarding clergy sex abuse cases.

The letter ended with the cardinal noting that the conclusion of the year should mark a new beginning for priests and their flocks:

"We, the People of God and its shepherds, want to thank the Lord for this privileged period of prayer and reflection on the priesthood. At the same time we want to be alert to what the Holy Spirit wants to say to us. Meanwhile we will return to the exercise of our mission in the Church and in the world with renewed joy and with the conviction that God, the Lord of history, remains with us, both in crises and in new times."

Click HERE to read the entire letter.

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