Vatican Congress on the motivation of priests

Vatican Congress on the motivation of priests

Vatican City (KNA) An international congress in the Vatican has been focussing on the further training and motivation of Catholic priests since this Tuesday. The motto, taken from the Bible, is: “Rekindle the grace of God that has been given to you.” The Vatican authorities for the clergy, evangelisation and Eastern Churches are responsible for organising the five-day congress.

“With a view to today’s world, we want to give priests a little courage,” explained the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Clergy, Cardinal Lazarus You Heung-sik, on the Vatican News portal. Referring to the rest of the biblical quote (“God has not given us a spirit of despondency, but a spirit of vigour, love and prudence”), You continued: “All this does not just fall from the sky, but always requires development, education and training.”

You emphasised that he is currently hearing from many priests that they feel alone and at a loss “in today’s very secularised world”. One possible answer is to strengthen the synodal way of working.

Around a thousand priests, religious and lay people from over 60 countries are taking part in the conference. Brazil, Mexico, Italy, Poland and the Philippines are the most strongly represented. The starting point is a Vatican document on the training of priests (the so-called “Ratio fundamentalis”) from 2016. The results of a survey among the bishops’ conferences have also been incorporated into the preparations.

Amidst extensive debates and field reports, a meeting with Pope Francis is on the programme for the third day of the conference. You described the meeting of priests as “perhaps a historic event”. It is about “determining exactly where we stand and which path we should take forever. Which church do we want, which priests, which training? We will move forward in this spirit”.