International congress to focus on priestly identity and celibacy

.- Today the Vatican announced that an international theological congress will be held in Rome on the theme “Faithfulness in Christ, Faithfulness of Priests.” The congress is intended to mark the current Year for Priests and will address issues such as priestly identity and celibacy.

A communique from the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy stated that the event will be held at the Pontifical Lateran University from March 11 to 12 and that “invitees to the congress principally include bishops who preside over commissions for the clergy, supreme moderators of clerical institutes and associations, formators of the clergy, and priests themselves who are primarily responsible for their own permanent formation.” Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to receive congress participants on March 12.

The congress will be divided into three sessions with two focusing on priestly identity and its relationship with the modern culture and one on liturgy and celibacy.

Leaders of the Congregation for the Clergy, including Cardinal Claudio Hummes O.F.M. and Archbishop Mauro Piacenza will be in attendance. Other Vatican-based attendees include, Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education; Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Cardinal Franc Rode C.M., prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

Also contributing to the theological congress are Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, archbishop of Bologna, Italy, Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; Archbishop Raymond Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, and Archbishop Willem Eijk of Utrecht, primate of Holland.

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