.- The prefect for the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, said last week pedophilia is a “terrible crime” that affects only a small percentage of priests, adding that “there is no room in the priestly ministry for people who have committed these crimes.”
Regarding the Year for Priests decreed by Benedict XVI, Cardinal Hummes said it “has come at an appropriate moment.” The cardinal called on priests to live their mission and vocation “in the prevailing culture of the West, which is against religion and believes it should be relegated to the person’s private sphere.”
In any case, he added, “We ought not to demonize today’s culture and form ghettos,” but rather, ever greater efforts should be made to evangelize society, “as is the case with any other culture.”
“We must confront it with joy, determination, conviction and enthusiasm. Even the post-modern man and woman, estranged from religion, can embrace Jesus Christ,” he said.
Cardinal Hummes said he hopes the Year for Priests will help increase the number of vocations. “If we are able to offer priests better conditions so that they can be happier, young people who feel the call to the priesthood will be more decisive,” he said.