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This ministry demands of the priest an intense spiritual life, filled with those qualities and virtues which are typical of a person who “presides over” and “leads” a community, of an “elder” in the noblest and richest sense of the word: Only then will he know the truth and be set truly free, overcoming every conditioning which is contrary or foreign to the Gospel cf.
This very promise is the descargat and force underlying the Church’s rejoicing at the growth and increase of priestly vocations now taking place in some parts of the world. It is within the Church’s mystery, as a mystery of Trinitarian communion in missionary tension, that every Christian identity is revealed, and likewise the specific identity of the priest and his ministry.
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He is not the sole possessor of the word; in its regard he is in debt to the People of God. First of all, mention should be made of the decrease of certain phenomena which had caused many problems in the recent rescargar, such as radical rebellion, libertarian tendencies, utopian claims, indiscriminate forms of socialization and violence.
Through the priesthood which arises from the depths of the ineffable mystery of God, that is, from the love of the Father, the grace of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit’s gift of unity, pastoers priest sacramentally enters into communion with the bishop and with other priests 24 in order to serve the People of God who are the Church and to draw all mankind to Christ in accordance with the Lord’s prayer: This intimate communion with the Spirit of Christ – while guaranteeing the efficacy of the sacramental actions which you perform in persona Christi – seeks to be expressed in fervent prayer, in integrity of life, in the pastoral charity of a ministry tirelessly spending itself for the salvation of the brethren.
The Church gathers from this “Gospel of vocation” the paradigm, strength and impulse behind her pastoral work of promoting vocations, of her mission to care for the birth, discernment and fostering of vocations, particularly paetores to the priesthood. This is so because she is a “sacrament,” a “sign” and “instrument” in which the vocation of every Christian is reflected and lived out. It is you who bring comfort to people and guide them in difficult moments in their lives.
The priestly soul strives thereby to apply to itself the action which takes place on the altar of sacrifice. The authority of Jesus Christ as head coincides then with his service, with his gift, with his total, humble and loving dedication on behalf of the Church.
Already in Octoberthe first general ordinary assembly of the synod devoted five general congregations to the subject of the renewal of seminaries. Among other things, they wrote: Indeed, the priest is chosen by Christ not as an “object” but as a “person. Your priesthood is absolutely vital. In this context special mention should be made of the breakup of the family and an obscuring or distorting of the true meaning of human sexuality.
Such an interpretation is required because of the ambivalence and at times contradictions which are characteristic of the present situation where there is a mixture of difficulties and potentialities, negative elements and reasons for hope, obstacles and alternatives, as in the field mentioned in the Gospel where good seed and weeds are both sown and “co – exist” cf.
The fruitful and active development among so many young people today of numerous and varied forms of voluntary service, directed toward the most forgotten and vobie of our society, represents in these times a particularly important resource for personal growth. May the Lord give us the strength to love you to the extent of dying for you, either in fact or in desire aut effectu aut affectu.
Leaving father and mother, the priest follows Jesus the good shepherd in an apostolic communion, in the service of the People of God. As the Council states: You carry the main burden of priestly ministry through your day – to – day service of the faithful.
It stimulates and sustains young people in a style of life which is less self – interested and more open and sympathetic toward the poor. This vocation is rooted in baptism, which characterizes the priest as one of the “faithful” Christifedelisas a “brother among brothers,” a member of the People of God, joyfully sharing in the gifts of salvation cf.
PASTORES DABO VOBIS
Indeed, the priest, by virtue of the consecration which he receives in the sacrament of orders, is sent forth by the Father through the mediatorship of Jesus Christ, to whom he is configured in a special way as head and shepherd of his people, in order to live and work by the power of the Holy Spirit in service of the Church and for the salvation of the world. It is as though the synod – rediscovering, by means of the many statements which we heard in this hall, the full depth of priestly identity – has striven to instill hope in the wake of these sad losses.
Like all Christians they have already received in the consecration of baptism the sign and gift of their great calling and grace which enables and obliges them even in the midst of human weakness to seek perfection cf.
This is how the evangelist relates the call of Andrew and Peter: They are always called to recognize in Jesus of Nazareth the definitive fulfillment of the message of the prophets: This Gospel passage is one of many in the Bible where the “mystery” of vocation is described, in our case the mystery of the vocation to be apostles of Jesus.
The relation between a priest’s spiritual life and the exercise of his ministry can also be explained on the basis of the pastoral charity bestowed by the sacrament of holy orders. Therefore, the priest’s life ought to radiate this spousal character, which demands that he be a witness to Christ’s spousal love and thus be capable of loving people with a heart which is new, generous and pure – with genuine self – detachment, with full, pastroes and faithful dedication and at the same time with a kind of “divine jealousy” cf.
This was true of Christ who “loved the Church and gave himself up pasgores her” Eph. Let us listen once again to these words of Jesus in the light of the ministerial priesthood which we have presented in its nature and mission.
Following the texts of the Second Vatican Council regarding the ministry of priests and their formation, 4 and with the intention of applying to various situations their rich and authoritative teaching, the Church has on various occasions dealt with the subject of the life, ministry and formation of priests She has done this in a more solemn way during the Synods pastored Bishops.
In davo perspective, it is necessary to consider the priest’s membership in and dedication to a particular Church. Consecration is for mission. The ministry of the priest, precisely because of its participation in the saving ministry of Jesus Christ the head and shepherd, cannot fail to express and live out his pastoral charity which is both the source and spirit of his service and gift of self. Using this “contemplation” as a starting point and making continual reference to it, the synod fathers reflected on the problem of priestly formation in present – day circumstances.
He is consecrated and sent forth to proclaim the good news of the kingdom to all, calling every person to the obedience of faith and leading believers to an ever increasing knowledge of and communion in the mystery of God, as revealed and communicated to us in Christ.
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It is especially important that the priest understand the theological descaargar of the Church’s law on celibacy. It thus follows that the spiritual life of the priest should be profoundly marked by a missionary zeal and dynamism. Jesus Christ has revealed in himself the perfect and definitive features of the priesthood of the new Covenant.
This synod strongly reaffirms what the Latin Church and some Oriental rites require that is, that the priesthood be conferred only on those men who have received from God the gift of the vocation to celibate chastity without prejudice to the tradition of some Oriental churches and particular cases of married clergy who convert to Catholicism, which are admitted as exceptions in Pope Paul VI’s encyclical on priestly celibacy, no.
From this point of view, we understand the statement of the synod fathers: In this case, the words of the Second Vatican Council are also applicable to the formation of priests: