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Pope says priests are not business managers

Pope John Paul II on Tuesday expressed his conviction about the "deep complementarity" between the roles of priests and laity, stressing that they are not equal.

"First and foremost, you are priests: not corporate executives, business managers, finance officers or bureaucrats, but priests," he told the bishops of the Antilles. "This means above all that you have been set apart to offer sacrifice, since this is the essence of priesthood, and the core of the Christian priesthood is the offering of the sacrifice of Christ."

He then mentioned Vatican II, calling it a "great grace" for the Church, and highlighted the evolution of the role of the laity in ecclesial life since the Council. He reminded the bishops that, "along with the awakening of the lay faithful in the Church" there has been a decrease in vocations in seminaries under their care. He told the bishops that they were "rightly concerned" at declining numbers because "the Catholic Church


8 May 2002