‘Be priests according to Christ’s heart’ Pope Benedict tells Pontifical Academy students

.- Earlier this morning, Pope Benedict met with students from the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, accompanied by their president, Archbishop Justo Mullor, encouraging them to have holiness and the salvation of souls they meet on their journey as the fundamental goal of their lives. The Pope called on the future Vatican diplomats to cultivate "the two constitutive and complementary dimensions of the Church: communion and mission, unity and evangelical passion," and asked them to reinforce their "sensus Ecclesiae," so as to take on "an ecclesial form in your entire personality, in your minds and in your hearts."

He told the students that, "While you are in the academy, seek to become fully 'Roman' in an ecclesial sense, in other words, sure and faithful in your adherence to the Magisterium and to the pastoral guidance of Peter's Successor.”

“At the same time,” he urged, “cultivate missionary zeal, with eagerness to cooperate in spreading the Gospel to the farthest confines of the world."

Pope Benedict said that in order to undertake their future roles adequately, the students need "a firm cultural formation, including knowledge of languages, history and law, with a judicious openness to different cultures."

He also stressed that they need to have, as "the fundamental goal of your lives, holiness and salvation of the souls you will meet on your journey.”

“To this end,” he added, “tirelessly seek to be exemplary priests, animated by constant and intense prayer, cultivating intimacy with Christ. Be priests according to Christ's heart and you will carry our your ministry with success and apostolic fruits. Never allow yourselves to be tempted by the logic of career advancement and power."


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