Without the Church, the world dies, says Madrid cardinal

.- The Archbishop of Madrid, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, said this week, “If there is a lack of priests in the Church, the Church dies, and if the Church is not present in the world, the world dies.”

The cardinal made his comments during the 45th Day of Prayer for Vocations in Spain.  He noted that the Church “needs priests and religious,” because there are no “substitutes for the ministerial priesthood or formulas that can be considered as alternatives to the ministry of the consecration of bishops, priests and deacons.”

Likewise, he called on young people to “respond to the invitation and call of the Lord to follow him in the priesthood and religious life,” so that “the Church can continue fulfilling her mission as the Sacrament of Salvation.”

Cardinal Rouco noted that in encountering Christ, mankind has always found it difficult “to acknowledge Him and acknowledge what He offers,” and he stressed that man must realize that “there is no other Savior besides Him.”

Many European countries, including Spain, he continued, are “very influenced by the search for an alternative to God to give meaning to the life of man and to understand what life brings,” but this is “the old temptation of the 20th century in which during difficult times,” it was believed that some person could substitute for God, but “there is no salvation apart from God or apart from those He has sent.”

“Now that this temptation is so strong and drags away so many people and groups to follow supposedly alternative paths,” we need men and women who want to be instruments of God “to make known His ways as our Shepherd.”

Cardinal Rouco called for prayers that more young people would commit to the mission of the Lord to be shepherds “to make Him present as truth, grace, life and the way that leads to Salvation.”

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