Priests Are Necessary

Monday, April 30, 2007

Chicago, 25 May 1996
Fr Marcial Maciel, LC

To summarize, in the Church and on behalf of the Church priests are a sacramental representation of Jesus Christ, Head and Shepherd. They authoritatively proclaim his word, repeat his acts of forgiveness and offer his salvation, particularly in Baptism, Penance, and the Eucharist. They show Christ’s loving concern to the point of a total gift of self for the flock, which they gather into unity and lead to the Father through Christ and in the Holy Spirit. In a word, priests exist and act in order to proclaim the Gospel to the world and to build up the Church in the name and person of Jesus Christ.

With this in mind it becomes ever more clear that there is more at stake here than perhaps we would like to admit. The decline in the number of priests at the service of the Church represents a real and serious obstacle to spreading Christ’s Kingdom in the world. How many people in the future will neither hear Christ’s message nor receive his salvation because of a lack of priests?

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