.- Yesterday, on the Solemnity of Pentecost, Pope Benedict XVI ordained 21 new priests for the Diocese of Rome and encouraged them to “Always lead men back again” to the mystery and foundation of the Eucharist. “Help them”, he said, “to bring Christ's peace into the world."
Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general for the diocese of Rome, Archbishop Luigi Moretti, vicegerent, the auxiliary bishops, the superiors of the seminaries where the deacons were formed, and their pastors, concelebrated the Mass, held in the Vatican Basilica.
The Vatican noted today that eleven of the new priests are from Italy, two from Bolivia, and one each from Uruguay, Costa Rica, Peru, Ireland, Romania, Kenya, Angola and Nigeria.
In his homily, the Holy Father recalled the first Pentecost, in which, "the Holy Spirit, under the signs of the mighty wind and the fire, broke in upon the praying community of Jesus' disciples, and so gave origin to the Church."
"The Church," he continued, "must always become anew that which she already is: she must open the frontiers between peoples and break down the barriers between classes and races.”
“In her,” the Pope said, “no one can be forgotten or scorned. ... The wind and the fire of the Holy Spirit must ceaselessly open the frontiers that we human beings continue to build between ourselves."
Turning to the newly ordained priests, Pope Benedict said that in the Risen Lord's greeting to the Apostles - "peace be with you," which is mentioned in today's Gospel - "we may also see a call to the great mystery of faith, to the Holy Eucharist, in which He continues to give Himself to us and, in that way, continues to give us true peace."
He told them that in Jesus' name, "you can say, this is My body, this is My blood. Always allow yourselves to be drawn back to the Holy Eucharist, to communion of life with Christ. Consider the worthy celebration of the Eucharist as the center of each day.”
“Always lead men back again to this mystery. Help them, on the foundation of the Eucharist, to bring Christ's peace into the world."
The Holy Father also noted the priest's "power of forgiveness," saying, "The Sacrament of Penance is one of the Church's precious treasures, because only in forgiveness is true renewal of the world achieved.”
“Nothing”, he said, “can improve in the world, if evil is not overcome. And evil can be overcome only through forgiveness. Of course, this must be efficacious forgiveness, but this forgiveness can only be given to us by the Lord. A forgiveness that does not overcome evil only with words, but that truly transforms it."