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Cardinal says priests should aim for holiness

Vatican Congregation for Clergy head Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos has told a major priests' meeting in Malta that the most effective priests are "constantly striving to be holy".

"Priestly sanctity and the ministry of evangelization are inseparable," he told the priests gathered in Malta's historic cathedral.

"Sanctity is intimacy with God, the imitation of the poor, chaste and humble Christ; love with no restrictions for souls and giving for their real good; love for the church," the cardinal said at Monday's opening Mass for the International Meeting of Priests.

Surrounded by Maltese crosses and the tombs of the Knights of Malta in Valletta's 16th-century Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Cardinal Castrillon said that to do their jobs effectively priests must allow Christ to live within them.

"It is he who confers redeeming effectiveness to our preaching, that light enlightening human uncertainties and fears, that warmth that heals the mortal tiredness of living experienced by men far from God," the cardinal said.

More than 900 priests and bishops from 280 dioceses around the world were slated to attend the Oct. 18-23 conference, the sixth in a series of seminars for priests sponsored by the Congregation for Clergy.

At Malta meeting, cardinal says effective priests strive to be holy (Catholic News Service 19/10/04)

Priests Reminded That They Are a Sign of Contradiction (Zenit 19/10/04)
International priests convention opens (Independent Online 19/10/04)
Over 1,000 priests expected for international retreat at Malta (Catholic World News 12/10/04)

21 Oct 2004