Central American bishops call on priests to value gift of celibacy

.- The Council of Bishops of Central America (SEDAC), which met in Honduras November 27-December 1, have called on priests to have a greater appreciation of “the gift of celibacy that they have received,” through constant spiritual, pastoral, affective, and intellectual formation.

In a recently released statement the bishops said, “Priestly celibacy lived out in affective maturity, a sign of the radicalness of their voluntary commitment to Christ and to his Gospel, is a precious example for all young people of the value of chastity and for all those called by the Lord to the consecrated life and to the ministerial priesthood.

The bishops thanked priests for their service despite the “difficult cultural context” in which they must carry out their ministry, often “in a culture of violence and death, in a pan-sexual environment, where ‘having’ is more important than ‘being’.”

In today’s world, they continued, “The true meaning of love is distorted.  Human sexuality is not appropriately respected and homosexuality is presented as something normal when, according to God’s plan it is totally the opposite.

The bishops also denounced corruption, drug trafficking and organized crime, which they said, foster a “climate of violence” and a “sense of powerlessness on the part of governments,” and lead to the spread of youth gangs.  

Returning to the theme of the priesthood, the bishops called on all priests who work in formation to carefully select seminary candidates and to make use of the human sciences in their discernment.

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