Year for Priests: Pies, prayers not enough; clergy need love, support

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Each and every one of the world’s 408,000 priests should feel loved, respected, valued and supported in his vocation to bring the Gospel to an increasingly secular — but still open — world, said Cardinal Claudio Hummes.

The Brazilian cardinal, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, said the 2009-2010 Year for Priests, which begins June 19, must recognize the new challenges and possibilities Catholic priests face.
Pope Benedict XVI called for the special year to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Vianney, who was famed for his priestly ministry.

The aim, however, is not to organize a historical commemoration, but to look realistically at the world in which priests live and work and to recognize that the horrible abuse perpetrated by some priests has harmed the reputation of all priests, Cardinal Hummes said.

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