Vatican City, May 26, 2010 / 08:33 am America/Denver (CNA).
In his last catechesis on the priesthood, Pope Benedict dedicated his Wednesday audience address to the authority that priests receive from Jesus, emphasizing that it must be used in service of people, not as an end in itself. He also asked for prayers to conclude the Year for Priests for all the ordained, including himself.
In the company of 25,000 ticket-holding attendees and hundreds more people who showed up besides, Benedict XVI dedicated his last catechesis on the essential tasks of priests to the necessity of priests working in service of the "true, ultimate good" of the person through his exercise of the priestly authority given him by Christ.
Pope Benedict explained to the crowd of pilgrims that today he wanted to look at what priestly authority means in the contemporary context, focusing specifically on how it comes from “the Lord's command to feed His sheep."
"The regimes which spread death and terror last century are a powerful reminder that authority, in all fields, when exercised without reference to the transcendent, when it ignores the supreme authority that is God Himself, inevitably ends up by turning against man,” the Holy Father said.
“It is important, then, to recognize that human authority is never an end but always and only a means, and that, necessarily and at all times, the end is always the person."